Energy Business News Talks To Huon and Smart Commercial Solar


Energy Business News spoke to Smart Commercial Solar's Huon Hoogesteger in the run up to All Energy.  Here's an excerpt:

Storage is a major theme at All Energy Australian 2017 this week, and one of the key participants was Huon Hoogesteger from Smart Commercial Solar, the firm’s founder. Huon answered some questions from EBN in this Q&A aboutenergy storage trends and making the smart grid a success.   

There would seem to be a new wave building of larger scale solar installation. Where do you think this market is at and how do you assess its potential?

We really are witnessing an energy revolution and it’s amazing to me that this isn’t front page news every day. Even long-time industry experts have been taken by surprise by the drop in solar prices, and large-scale solar installation has massive potential. Solar business cases are now 50 to 100 per cent stronger than they were just 12 months ago. The typical business case for ROI is now around 3 years which puts it well within the range for most businesses. Not only that, many solar projects are now cash flow positive from day one, meaning that even after loan repayments are taken into account, a business will spend less from the start. Let’s think about that for a second: solar is now so cheap that it is cheaper to borrow money to install solar than it is to continue to pay electricity bills from conventional power. The disruption these economics will have is only just beginning to be felt.

What are the drivers for corporates to invest in their own solar installations?

Bill shock. For the first time corporates have realised that energy, one of their key overheads, is a threat completely outside of their control. The driver for most corporates is the gap between what they have to pay for conventional power and how much less they will pay if they install solar. We’ve seen companies in long-term energy contracts watch as these contracts expire and they face 50 per cent or more increases in their power bills —in some cases, they are literally looking at energy bills that could be business killers. Bill shock is going to last for a very long time, it is not going away. Solar is the obvious solution to this problem. Beyond economics, what we are seeing is the economics align with the sustainability goals and that’s great to see.

Read more here:

Huon on The Future of Solar At All Energy

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In the run up to All Energy Australia (Australia's Most Comprehensive Clean and Renewable Energy Event) and Huon's participation as a panelist and speaker, Sustainability Matters has delivered a sneak peak:

Renewable energy subsidies continue to be a hot topic of debate in Australia. Smart Commercial Solar’s Huon Hoogesteger believes serious conversations within the industry need to happen to discuss how best to steer the country in the right direction.

At next month’s All-Energy Australia conference in Melbourne, Hoogesteger — the founder and chief executive of Smart Commercial Solar and a solar energy entrepreneur— will discuss the future of solar, storage and the energy market.

“At All-Energy Australia, I will be speaking about the need to start building for the future of the energy industry right now. I believe we are at a critical turning point as an industry, and if we don’t prepare for the future now by being flexible and bringing data and analysis together, we’ll face some serious difficulties,” Hoogesteger said.

Read more:


Read more here.

We love the sun, but...

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We love the sun at Smart Commercial Solar, but it's obviously not without it's dangers.  Solar storms can be disruptive and illustrate the fact that we have a massive power plant at the centre of our solar system.  In a technologically advanced age this brings some risks.  Here's an excerpt from Gizmodo about the risks and what we can do about them:

Every 100 years or so, our Sun gives off a great big belch that sends an intense wave of charged particles towards Earth. This wasn't a problem in the past, but our high-tech civilisation is now disturbingly vulnerable to these solar storms. A new study quantifies the economic risks posed by these extreme solar storms, while also proposing a super-futuristic solution to the problem: An Earth-sized shield built in outer space.

The term "solar storm" is used to identify the various nasties the Sun can hurl our way, including X-rays, charged particles and magnetised plasma. In 1859, a series of powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) hit our planet head on, disrupting telegraph stations and causing widespread communication outages. If we were to be hit by an equally powerful solar storm today, it would knock out satellites and electrical grids, disrupting global communications, transportation and supply chains. Total worldwide losses could reach up to $US10 trillion ($13 trillion), with recovery taking many years.

Read the rest of the story here.

Why Coal Is Dead


Smart Commercial Solar's Huon Hoogesteger just published his take on coal and solar on the global energy forum, Renewable Energy World.

Here's an excerpt:

I’m a Conservative in the Energy Business in Australia and Here’s Why Coal Is Dead

Australia is in the middle of a great energy debate in which Tony Abbott, Australia's former Prime Minister, has staked out a position about the future of renewables built around coal that is just plain wrong. Energy prices aren’t high because of what Abbott calls “wishful thinking” and “green religion” — they’re high because of too little thinking and the wrong kind of religion.

I’m a fiscal conservative. Politically and socially I lean to the right. And I’m in the energy business. So naturally, I’d be an ally of Tony Abbott on energy policy, right? Nope. I’m anti-coal; vehemently. Here’s why.

Coal may be abundant but it is not cheap. It isn’t failing as an energy solution because “green religion" has a stranglehold on common sense or the levers of commerce and government. Coal power isn’t being regulated out of existence, it is being priced out of existence. We have witnessed an unprecedented drop in the price of renewables and the market isn’t stupid. We are moving to a zero-emissions future because it now makes obvious economic sense to do so.

Here’s why.

Read the rest here.