The Solar Con: Seeming Green, Being Greedy

Posted on Wed 10/06/2010 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

This feelgood green scheme is nothing but a huge con. For more details, see my added comments at the bottom of this Post…..TonyfromOz.

Green power is not just ludicrously expensive, but too often a transfer of wealth from the poor to the salvation-seeking rich:

SCHEMES that pay households to produce power using rooftop solar panels are costing about 25 times as much to cut greenhouse gases as a nationwide ETS

In a confidential submission obtained by The Australian, the National Generators Forum has told the NSW government that its scheme is costing between $520 and $640 to reduce each tonne of carbon dioxide – compared with the $23 per tonne proposed in the emissions trading scheme shelved by Kevin Rudd.

The submission states that although the scheme will create green jobs, each job created will cost between $130,000 and $700,000….

The Australian Council of Social Service’s senior policy officer of energy and climate change, Tony Westmore, feared “a serious increase” in power bills and said ”those people who have the cash to be able to put the panels on their roof will be subsidised by people who can’t afford their current bills”.

TonyfromOz adds…..

Notice how cleverly the TV ads for Solar panels are worded:

“You can almost cut your power bills to zero.”

It gives the impression that you are utilising all the power generated from these panels for all your own household needs, which is patently false.
The panels are installed, and then run though an Inverter to convert the generated DC into household AC. You use power throughout the day, and the extra is routed back to the grid. For this, they pay you a feed in tariff, some around three times the price you pay for the electricity you use.
The Sun sets and, by legislated requirement, you then use power from the grid. This is during the Peak power period, when household power consumption is at its highest, approximately two thirds of your total power usage over the 24 hour cycle

In actual fact the power generated by the panels would not cover what you actually use throughout the whole 24 hour cycle. That feed in tariff has to be high, otherwise they would not sell these panels etc. The savings because of that feed in tariff, are then in effect put towards the cost of the original installation, so it’s not money for nothing. Working well, and with a large system, you might have recovered the original cost in 15 to 20 years, which incidentally is about the life span of the panels.
You are not making money be feeding power back to the grid.

You are not generating all your requirements.
The grid is not your own personal battery.
That power adds minute amounts to the grid which in fact are not even taken into consideration when distributing the total load for the grid.
Those subsidies, at installation, and for the feed in tariffs result in higher costs for grid power for all those without panels.
This is false economy.

If people had to pay the full up front cost themselves, and there was no feed in tariff, they would be hard pressed to sell one of these systems.
All this depends as well on no one being home during the day to use normal amounts of power.
We all pay in higher costs so some people can feel good about themselves, and hang the rest of us who have to pay for their feeling good.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377. His book ‘Still Not Sorry’ was released in 2006.