Solar: Giles out by a factor of 10, say Greens


p2329-Rob-Hoad-1By ERWIN CHLANDA
(From media release.)
Chief Minister Adam Giles is out by a factor of ten in his estimate of the cost of Alice Springs going solar, says Rob Hoad, Greens candidate for Lingiari.
He says “over dinner friends and I made a rough calculation: A 5kw solar system costs about $20,000 including batteries for back-up supply. We have 8,000 homes, times $20,000 equals $160m.
“This is a rough estimate, but is only 10% of the $1.6b Mr Giles claims we need to go solar in Alice Springs.”
The figure Mr Giles mentioned was $1.4b.
Mr Hoad says we need to remove the barriers put in place by electricity companies and the old parties so that the millions of Australians who want solar can join the 1.5 million homes that already have it.
He says the Greens’ plan includes:–
• A $5 million information campaign to promote the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s schemes to support Households and Businesses installing solar with no upfront costs.
• Ensure a fair price for solar is paid by energy companies.
• Roll out the $192m Sustainable Schools Program.
• Establish a Solar Ombudsman within the Clean Energy Regulator to facilitate a “right to solar” for renters.
• Work to reform laws that will enable access to solar energy for residential and commercial tenants.
• Reform the legislative objectives and rules of energy market to democratise and modernise our energy system.
The policy complements previously announced Greens’ plans for large-scale and community-owned renewables, battery storage and a pathway to 90% renewables by 2030, including the phase out of coal-fired power generation.


  1. I like the idea of solar for power as it is free.
    However, South Australia has binned its coal in favor of wind power which has proved costly to the consumers and is inefficient. Learning this, the SA government is running a Go nuCLEAR campaign – because it has to.
    I would like an assessment carried out by professionals on this issue rather than having to believe in figures scribbled on tablecloth. Solar may work out well … or it may not.
    In the end, the consumer pays for power supplies as well as mistakes made by others in sourcing them.

  2. Typical Greens, more simplistic starry eyed concepts that simply do not acknowledge the full complexities of a modern civilisation: What happens when we get cloud for days, maybe weeks, in some years months?
    Are all those people signing written guarantees that they won’t call on Government to make up their shortfall?
    What happens to our schools, industries shops, our work places?
    Do we all just knock off for a day or two, or much longer? When there’s no power in a modern world that means no refrigeration, no water, sewage backups, no TV, no computer, no lighting, no transport, no fuel, no heating or cooling, no traffic control.
    So who among us is volunteering for that? Maybe a couple of disaffected Greens on a return journey to the dark ages. However I suggest that the rest of us wish to keep and run our modern lifestyle in the manner to which we have become accustomed – 24 hour round the clock power!
    There’s been some really naive comment passed on this sublet in recent months, people simply not understanding the impressive, worlds best practice, reliable, clean power generation system we have established for our location and our conditions.
    It features as much solar power as can be forced into a system without compromising that reliability. We should be proud of it, boasting about it, praising those who have driven its efforts towards cleaner greener electricity production.
    The real truth of the matter is that while the Greens preach in lofty tones, as if holding the high moral ground, in reality they aren’t really interested in solar power.
    They are interested in pushing an anti establishment, anti civilisation agenda, motivated by the age old creed of envy that if followed would drive our world in a downwards spiral.
    It would taking us back centuries, starving most of the world’s population along the way.
    So let’s take a reality check and be bloody grateful for the giant strides we have made towards cleaner electricity generation, praise the efforts of those who have gotten us this far, and move slowly towards more solar as genuinely clean technology becomes available.

  3. Hi Steve, I am interested to know more about the “impressive, worlds best practice, reliable, clean power generation system we have established for our location and our conditions.”
    Pretty sure you wouldn’t be talking about the $75m gas-fired generators about to be built in one of the most reliably clear-skied places on earth, because that’s the complete opposite of clean and appropriate to conditions.
    Please do elaborate on your comment, I am genuinely intrigued.

  4. Yes Matt, I am talking about our $75m power station relocation and upgrade, along with all the large and small solar power inputs that make up our total generation.
    Until technology advances in some way or until we are connected to a national grid, 24 hour power requires the use of a generation system to cover the moments when there is little or no sun.
    Of course for short periods you can use batteries, although these are still pretty expensive and quite dirty in environmental terms.
    However to guarantee a reliable power supply for everyone, we have to have the capacity to produce it by means other than solar.
    This means fuel of some kind, fuel that we can afford and of course burns as close to clean as possible.
    At this moment in technology, unless we go nuclear, the answer is gas.
    We’ve got plenty of it, and at the right price! That keeps your electricity bill affordable. The multiple small engines in the new power station allow maximum flexibility allowing the maximum use of solar without compromising reliability.
    That makes us state of the art and as clean as we can go, for the moment.
    This all shows a laudable intent on the part of Territory Generation to be as clean as possible. We should reward their efforts with high praise, encouraging them to remain at the front of the game in introducing as much renewable power as reliability will allow.
    While always keeping an eagle eye on that word “affordability” because in the end that’s what matters most to struggling families, and as it has throughout the centuries, also sets the agenda for technical advancement.
    That brings me to my point: The $75m upgrade to our power station is an amazing win for the Alice.
    Thank you Adam Giles and team! Wonderful effort on behalf of our community! Let’s make sure we keep them in government.


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