The government’s solar PV installation rebate – now here’s an idea.

Here’s an idea.

1. Go and find a suburb or a city or a community in Australia which has 31,000 households. I’m certain there are 31,000 people in this country who support what I’m about to elucidate.

2. Each household may temporarily need to put up AUD $1200 or so. If you’re lucky enough to have access to the Krudd Bogan Bonus, that’s nearly all of that taken care of.

3. Take that 25 million US dollars and purchase one of these.

4. At 25 MWe divided between 31,000 households, that’s a little over 25 GJ per year, which is a little more than Australia’s present average household electricity consumption. This doesn’t just generate a tiny little bit of your household electricity needs – it generates 100% of it, and there will be no more electricity bills – at all.

5. That corresponds to a nameplate capacity of 807 watts per household. Since the government hands out a subsidy of $8/W for solar photovoltaics with a 20% capacity factor, they should hand out $36/W for nuclear energy with a 90% capacity factor, right? It’s the same rate of payment per energy generated which currently exists in terms of the solar PV subsidy.

6. Collect your $29,000 rebate from the government. Less the $1200 investment, that’s $27,800 immediate profit in your pocket.

7. Go to the pub. Gotta stimulate that economy, you know.

Do you think that the average person on the street would support nuclear power if you paid them twenty-seven thousand dollars to do so?

That’s pretty neat to think about, isn’t it? Did you get the moral of the story?

These little PV installations are so, so ridiculously expensive, for a tiny, trivial bit of energy generation.
The government pays this subsidy for domestic PV installations at $8 per Watt of installed nameplate capacity, up to a maximum of 1 kW.

To replace one Loy Yang type coal-fired power station with solar cells, we would need 8,537,714 homes equipped with 1 kW solar photovoltaic arrays.
With an $8000 rebate for each one, that would cost the government 68.3 billion dollars per each large coal-fired power station.

Solar photovoltaics typically have a capacity factor of about 20%, and we’ll suppose the panels have a lifetime of, say, 30 years.
Therefore, this scheme costs the government 15.2 cents per kWh generated. That alone is far more than anybody would pay for retail electricity.

If the government purchases nuclear power plants, they will cost, say, 10 billion dollars (let’s be conservative) for a nuclear power plant with two 1100 MW nuclear power reactors which will operate with a 90% capacity factor and a lifetime of 50 years. The capital cost of plant dominates the overall cost of nuclear energy.

Therefore, the nuclear power plants would cost the government 1.15 cents per kWh – 7.5 percent of the cost of the solar rebate scheme. That’s the government’s rebate alone – without the rest of the price of these systems.

There are scores of companies jumping on the bandwagon to sell these little 1 kW rooftop PV systems, advertising and promoting and installing them – because they’re making a fortune from taxpayer’s money.

All this solar rebate is is another mendacious political bullshit enterprise involving renewable energy which can’t be scaled up, which hands out free money to the public, makes a massive bunch of money for the solar panel vendors, and mendaciously makes the government look like they’re actively getting the country running on clean energy.

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