Articles on Solar panels

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Rooftop solar panels are disrupting Australia’s electricity market, and competing with networks. Jason Wong/Flickr

Energy White Paper promises privatisation and lower prices: experts respond

The federal government's keenly awaited Energy White Paper is firmly focused on cutting prices and red tape, and boosting industry competitiveness - and less so on climate change and renewable energy.
Use your solar photovoltaic panels to heat your water too, and you could cut the amount of excess electricity you give away cheaply to the grid. zstock/Shutterstock.com

Get more out of your solar power system by using water as a battery

Most solar power households feed excess electricity back into the grid, for very little financial reward. A hot water heat pump could put that power to better use, by heating water for evening use.
CSIRO’s solar-concentrating mirrors can be used for several purposes, including creating high-energy ‘SolarGas’. CSIRO

Australia should export more ideas and fewer greenhouse emissions

As climate negotiators meet at the United Nations’ Lima summit, which comes hot on the heels of the landmark US-China climate deal, there is a renewed focus on how the world can move to a lower-emissions…
Roof-top solar panels are just one part of the micropower revolution. Presidency Maldives

Move over big power – the micropower revolution is here

There is no shortage of shouting and dire warnings about the state of the climate and our need to phase out fossil fuels. But there is a more silent revolution happening too — in micropower. Small-scale…
The government knows that solar panel subsidies are very popular with voters. zstock/Shutterstock

The pitfalls of using renewable energy as a political football

Federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane has finally revealed his opening gambit on negotiations on the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). He and environment minister Greg Hunt have pledged to…
While Australians love Michael Leunig’s whimsical ducks, there’s another ‘duck’ pushing your power bills higher. Used with permission from Michael Leunig

Slash Australians’ power bills by beheading a duck at night

Rooftop solar power has slashed Australians’ demand for electricity during the day, but left evening peak power demand largely unchanged. That’s why, as strange as it may sound, we now need to behead a…

Flat lenses could boost solar power

Micro-machining technology could be used to produce flat lenses which would boost the productivity of solar panels. The Fresnel…
Criticising renewable energy using antique data doesn’t help the debate at all. Andrew Blakers

Lomborg’s criticism of current renewables is years out of date

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report paints an authoritative picture of the dire consequences if we fail to rapidly curb our greenhouse gas emissions. Solving this will…
Solar panels covering just 1 per cent of Australia’s landmass could provide all our electricity needs. Flickr/Rantz

How do we get to the next million solar roofs?

There are now one million Australian homes with solar electricity. That means 2.5 million Australians now rely on solar power – more than the population of Brisbane. Australians have clearly shown their…
A trade dispute between China and the EU could blow up into full-on stormy weather. Ben Birchall/PA

International spat over solar must not turn into trade wars

Manufacturers and politicians embroiled in the dispute between China and the EU are closely watching the looming deadline of June 5th. By then the European Commission must conclude its provisional anti-dumping…

New silicon to improve solar panels

Solar engineers have developed a method to improve the quality of low-grade silicon, which promises to significantly improve…

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