Happy to participate in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald Business section and the Fin Review today. It was about how the business viability of solar is being challenged in some places by new network charges that seem like a blatant attempt to counter solar. As I hope is clear from the article, this is all about how rapidly solar prices have dropped and how economically sensible it is for an organisation to go solar.
Here's an excerpt:
Solar companies are starting to blame network owners for ratcheting up costs for new solar customers to slow the rapid uptake of rooftop panels and protect their businesses.
Huon Hoogesteger, founder of Smart Commercial Solar, which offers solar systems to business customers, said network owners were seeking to hold back the growth of renewable energy because they were "afraid" of the potential of the industry to cut their revenues.
The network industry rejects the claims, with lead spokesman John Bradley, head of the Energy Networks Association, calling it "fundamentally wrong".
"Networks are actually keen to support the integration of solar because solar integrated into the network can help to lower our cost of delivering services to customers and help to defer augmentation [of the electricity grid]," he said.
The debate reveals the growing tensions between different parts of the energy supply industry as the huge popularity of rooftop solar transforms the way that 1.4 million households and many businesses source their power. Increasing reliance on self-generated power is cutting demand for electricity from the centralised grid and threatens to erode revenues for the owners of billions of dollars of network assets.