30 July 2014

Solar industry provides far more jobs in Australia than coal : Renew Economy

Solar industry provides far more jobs in Australia than coal : Renew Economy:

Australia’s solar industry employs a “far larger” amount of people than its fossil-fuelled power stations, a new report has found.

The report, released on Monday by The Australia Institute says that in 2014, 4,300 solar PV businesses employed 13,300 people in Australia – a vast increase on 2008 numbers, when the industry only employed 1,800 people.

This was a “far larger” amount that the total employed in Australia’s coal-fired power stations, said the report, and a good deal larger that the total number of people working in the entire electricity generation sector, which amounted to 9,487 in 2007 according to the ABS, a figure which also included those employed in gas, hydro and renewable energy generation.

Australia’s biggest existing coal-fired power generators, such as Macquarie Generation and Stanwell, employed only 642 and 800 FTE workers respectively, said the TAI.

it is estimated that an additional 8,000 jobs will be created in the four years from 2014 to 2018.
Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.33.10 PM“The solar industry is likely to become an even bigger employer in the near future as the price of both solar panels and battery storage come down,” says the report.

02 July 2014

Energy prices crash as Queensland solar takes hold : Renew Economy

Energy prices crash as Queensland solar takes hold : Renew Economy: "Energy prices crash as Queensland solar takes hold"

Wholesale electricity prices this week in Queensland have fallen below $30/MWh – see graph below – far below the levels of other states as mild weather and sunny condition reduced demand and generated a large amount of solar electricity.
The fall in energy prices came as Abbott blamed renewable energy for lifting retail electricity bills. On Tuesday, Queensland electricity prices did indeed rise 18 per cent, but this was almost entirely the result of soaring network costs and rising gas prices. The impact of renewable energy on retail prices actually fell.
Abbott’s comments came despite the conclusion of his own hand-picked modellers, ACIL Allen, which said the renewable energy target would lower consumer bills over the medium to long term.
This confirms conclusions reached by other analysis, despite the fact that the numbers dialled into the modeling by ACIL Allen were “fossil fuel” friendly and did not reflect the real cost of renewables.
This graph of Queensland demand and prices on Monday and Tuesday from the Australian Energy Market Operator illustrates the problem for coal and gas generators. The middle of the day was when the fossil fuel generators used to generate most revenue, because demand was highest. Now, demand eases dramatically, as this graph shows. Demand is in the green, while the wholesale price in is the red line.

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