Business

What solar crisis?

A CLARENCE Valley solar power innovation promises to dramatically reduce household power costs and is offering hope to an industry sector which has had the rug pulled from under it.

In a first for Australia, Northern Rivers Renewable Energy (NRRE) has developed a system that automatically manages a home's solar and grid power to the advantage of the home owner.

In a nutshell, the household's entire electricity needs are stored in batteries which are, for the most part, recharged by solar power.

Now - and here's the innovation - if enough solar energy is not produced, due to persistent rain for example, the system then recharges the batteries from grid power using a combination of off-peak and peak electricity.

NRRE owner Trent Rogers said the new system effectively "time-shifted" when a household needed to buy power.

"Naturally, people want to buy power when it's cheapest," he said.

Power comparison service Electricity Wizard said the standard off-peak electricity rate for NSW was 15.51 cents per kilowatt hour (inc GST) while the peak rate was 31.08 cents per kilowatt hour.

Householders would still have to pay a "service availability fee" (about $90 per quarter) to the electricity supplier of their choice to access the grid.

The system is a further development of NRRE's national award-winning stand-alone power system which took out the Clean Energy Council of Australia award for best design and installation earlier this year. Mr Rogers said modern life- styles meant most electricity was consumed first thing in the morning and in the evening.

"In this situation, installing rooftop solar can make you feel good but it won't make much economic sense, particularly given the State Government's present position with respect to feed-in tariffs," he said.

"At the moment there is no government-mandated feed-in tariff available. Solar panels generate electricity during the daytime which, in many households, is when you're away from home and not able to use the clean energy.

"Presently, with net feed-in systems, if you can consume the power while it's being generated then you can reduce your electricity bill, but all of the excess power that you can't use simply pours onto the grid and, without a feed-in tariff, you receive little or no payment for it whatsoever.

"Clearly, under the current government's lack of incentives, rooftop solar is not economically attractive ... until now."

Prices for the new hybrid system start at about $13,000 and Mr Rogers said that, based on current and projected electricity prices, it would pay itself off in five to 10 years, depending on individual energy usage and network availability fees.

Mr Rogers said his company refused to lay down just because the government was not supportive of clean energy.

"It is vital that as a society we start being responsible for our impact on the planet and every one of my employees believes this," he said.

Speaking about the new hybrid system, Mr Rogers said the company had been installing stand-alone systems for rural customers who could not access the grid for years but urban consumers wanted access to the grid to ensure they had power at all times.

"This achieves that for people - it's a system which guarantees power supply from a predominantly solar source," he said.

Topics:  clarence valley renewable energy solar power



VALLEY ROUND-UP: Community news from around the Clarence Valley

WELCOME ABOARD: Yamba Day VIEW Welcomes new members Wendy Smith, President Lyn, Marjorie Mullins and (front) Marlene Wells.

See what's making news in our community groups

Gavin finding the way to success

FINDS A WAY: Gavin Rayward practises in darkness before the Northern NSW RAID event.

Ready to take on eight-hour race

Mayor clarifies council not listening on SRV comment

Mayor Jim Simmons

Clarence Mayor Jim Simmons is sorry for misleading SRV comment

Local Partners

Talk show host’s phone call takes heartbreaking turn

ANYTHING can happen on live TV — one chat show segment took such an incredible turn it’s still referenced as a landmark television moment to this day.

Why streaming movies will cost more from July 1

Australians can expect to pay more for streaming services such as Netflix when the new taxes kick in.

The new taxes from July 1 won’t hurt the MPs’ big pay rise

What's on the small screen this week

Ryan Shelton in a scene from True Story with Hamish & Andy.

HAMISH and Andy hear another funny story and Cleverman returns.

Bonus Bill Busters Bingo card with today's paper!

Get an extra bingo car with today's paper.

Don't miss out on your bonus card.

Digging down to find Clare

Australian actress and singer Clare Bowen, who got her big break on the US TV series Nashville, is touring Australia with her solo album.

After five years on Nashville it’s time to tell her own stories.

TV REVIEW: Offspring season 7 is... fine

Alexander England and Asher Keddie in a scene from season seven of Offspring.

New Offspring won’t be remembered as the best season.

What's on at the cinemas over the school holidays

Tom Holland in a scene from the movie Spider-man: Homecoming.

Escape from reality over the holidays with a trip to the movies.

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

New prison unlocks market growth

Works have begun on the construction of the new Grafton bridge.

Influx of workers for project drives healthy growth in house prices

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!