Free energy could be a reality before we know it 47



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Opening our power bill can be quite a shock, in more ways than one. But hang in there – relief may be only a few years away.

A solar expert has told The Sydney Morning Herald battery storage for rooftop solar panels will become the “the norm” for Australian households in as little as three  years – and that, just as we wouldn’t build a house without insulation, it would make no sense to build a new house without a complete solar system.

The head of California-based technology company Enphase Energy, Paul Nahi, said it was time to say goodbye to the old technology and embrace the new.

“The grid today is far and away the most complex and sophisticated invention on the 20th century,” he told the SMH. “However, it is not necessarily the ideal solution for the 21st century. We have to reinvent the grid for the 21st century.”

Until now, the two factors holding people back from taking up solar en masse are the cost, and the lack of affordable storage to make use of solar energy once the sun has gone to bed.

It’s been said before that the next big thing will be the “storage revolution” with batteries becoming more reliable, long-lasting and, crucially, affordable.

Of course, in Australia, one other factor holding back the solar revolution has been the unwillingness of the government to support solar energy.

With a new government, however, there is new hope for solar power.

The Australian Solar Council has today launched a new social media campaign on the back of a more positive political environment that seems more receptive to supporting homeowners getting solar.

Mr Nahi, whose company makes a solar system that includes storage and a device for controlling the output and input of energy, said, “The days of somebody buying a solar system are very soon going to be behind us and what we’re going to see is somebody buying an energy system, which will include generation – which is going to be solar – storage, the management of the loads themselves and then a larger energy-management system that wraps everything together,” he said.


Would you like to go solar? What’s holding you back? Will you move to an integrated system using batteries if you can afford it to cut your bills? 



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Here in Queensland we are ideally placed for Solar. The biggest obstacle for us personally is the up front cost. Our power bills are very low compared to our friends. Our power bill is about $1500.00 a year and that includes 3 months of air conditioning. Friends of ours with Solar are doing their washing at night and vacuuming at night. I could not handle that. But I do believe that the systems are constantly improving. So who knows maybe in the future we will do the solar thing.

    5 REPLY
    • Debbie your friends have obviously chose a power plan for them to be doing their work at night, here in Victoria we do have that option however it doesn’t actually save you much so I continue to do everything during the day, it just comes down to personal choice.

    • Not sure your friends are doing the right thing. We were told by Energy Aust to use as much power during the day when you are using solar and not at night when you are getting power from the grid. Selling back to the grid is not what it was years ago but does save a bit

    • Depends on power company. Mine has peak and off peak and weekend is off peak too. We invested in 2kw solar system about 4-5 years ago, as it was all we could afford, they still pay me 30 cents for each kW we put back into the grid. I feel sorry for those who only have one flat rate and only get paid 8 cents for each kW. The government should encourage more solar at a better price as systems have become cheaper.

    • We only get 7 cents per Kw. Did you know you can get between 8 to 18% discount just by paying your bill on time from most suppliers

    • I’m surprised they do it at night… If you do it during the day you are generating the power and it is completely free. As the tariffs drop, I am very conscious of when it is best to do it.

  2. I installed Solar Power while I was still working back in 2011 so that it would make life easier and cheaper for me in retirement, when I first installed them I was amazed that my annual bill for the first 12 months $210, then the power companies got greedy and although I’m still saving a lot, service fees and charges have tripled, Power companies will see to it that it doesn’t happen.

    8 REPLY
    • I have heard the same thing from other people. I am waiting for a system where you can be totally free of the power companies ie totally self sufficient. I know there are a few systems out there but I think they need to improve.

    • It’s well worth having the panels cleaned and connections checked once every 2 years or so. The savings were remarkable after a cleaning. I do hose them down often too.

    • I was very fortunate when I signed up for Solar because after I got mine I was offered money back for anyone I referred to the company and as I had several friends that wanted it, I ended up getting my whole system for just $900.00 yes that is right $900.00 so it was well worth it for me at the time I also get the max credits until the year 2024 so I’m very happy!

    • Carolyn Janson the company that installed mine told me that under no circumstances let anyone talk me into them needing a clean as they are self cleaning and get washed every time it rains, and more damage can be done to your roof tiles every time some one is on the roof, it was backed up by research I did on it.

    • Yes Debbie I was very lucky at the time, I had so many friends who were offered the same deal and while procrastinating about it missed out on the deal and where very disappointed.

    • Us too, we even had bills where they owed us, didn’t last long now we always seem to owe them around the $300 mark!

    • Sue, I still wouldn’t be without them because my buy back is 68cents per KW and I received a letter which I still have to say it will remain at that until 2024 so I really feel I did the right thing for myself as I live alone it’s that bit harder.

  3. I have the minimum 1.5Kw solar, and yes, I live alone and am ecologically intelligent, and I have no electricity bills at all. In fact, I get a varying sum back for what I sell to the grid. Still have gas though, and that is getting expensive.

  4. Even if you get all of your power from the sun, there is still the sneaky component that electricity companies charge. The availability charge, just because the power lines go out the front of my home. That, in my case costs more per day than the amount of electricity I use.

  5. We have had solar since 2009, also had 2 new inverters, and solar has broken down again this week. So not sure if we got our money back or broke even.Having said that if it works well it’s fantastic.

  6. Would I like to go solar? Yes

    What’s holding me back? I’ll be dead prior to the end of the pay back period. My current cost are approx $2.75 per day.

    Will I move to an integrated system using batteries if I can afford it to cut my bills? Yes, if it passes a cost benefit analysis and when I know I will get money back for the surplus I produce. B|

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