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Max Carnage

Did 1970s scientists predict global cooling?

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On 9/18/2017 at 8:35 AM, cobran20 said:

I bet these subsidies are not factored into the record high cost of electricity paid by consumers for renewables

AGL’s $500m solar boost as it shuts coal station

 

Here is yet another example on why billionaires' are jumping on the renewables gravy train:

Saudi solar tycoon’s $300m handout

Quote

Australians are set to pay $300 million in subsidies to an outback solar farm owned by a Saudi Arabian billionaire in a new test of the federal government’s looming energy reforms, escalating a dispute over whether to cut the handouts to keep coal-fired power stations alive.

AGL’s controversial Liddell coal power station in the NSW Hunter Valley generates 50 times as much electricity as the Moree solar farm in the state’s north, which stands to gain big subsidies from households from higher electricity bills until 2030, as the government vows to ease the pressure on prices.

The project’s owner, Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, is ­expanding into new solar farms across Australia after the federal government backed the first ­development with grants and concessional loans as well as guaranteed credits for more than a decade.

The scale of the financial aid has triggered calls to scale back the subsidies as Nationals MPs warn that jobs will be sent overseas if Australia does not find a way to drive down energy costs.

Scott Morrison challenged Labor late yesterday to drop its “coal veto” when the energy plan goes to parliament, arguing new measures will be needed to extend the life of Liddell and other power stations to bring stability to the electricity grid. The Treasurer said the government wanted a “durable” outcome in parliament on the investment rules for the ­energy sector but did not say this would be a clean ­energy target, the proposal put forward by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.

Coal is stockpiled in preparation for loading onto ships for export at the Newcastle Coal Terminal in Newcastle, north of Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group declined in Sydney trading after Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan signaled the final terms of the government's planned mining tax may depend on talks with independent lawmakers. Photographer: Ian Waldie/BloombergRenewables rise but coal crucial
“What is concerning is that the Labor Party are putting, effect­ively, a coal veto on being able to land that agreement in a bipartisan fashion. Now I don’t think that is very constructive or helpful,” Mr Morrison said. “What we have to get to is a durable and agreed framework but it’s got to have an all-of-the-above approach, and Labor can’t insist on a sort-of coal veto to arrive at one — I don’t think that’s constructive at all.”

The company that owns the Moree generator, Abdul Latif Jameel Group, is building a solar empire on the profits from its long history as the sole distributor of Toyota vehicles in Saudi Arabia.

The owner’s son, Hassan Jameel, runs a charity tied to the conglomerate and has been ­romantically linked in recent months with singer Rihanna.

The Moree solar farm generates 150,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year, about 0.08 per cent of the 200 terawatt hours produced on the national electricity market every year. The project is forecast to collect about $50m in payments over the next four years and $90m in the following decade under the existing RET.

These subsidies, funded by electricity customers, will add to taxpayer aid including a $101.7m direct grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and a $60m concessional loan from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The Australian yesterday reported that AGL stood to receive $589m from the grants and subsidies for two solar projects over the period to 2030, although the company questioned the forecasts on the grounds that the renewable subsidies would fall in the next decade.

Malcolm Turnbull and his cabinet ministers are yet to decide whether to continue the assistance for solar and wind projects after 2020, when the existing ­renewable energy target is closed to new generators after years of controversy over the size of its subsidies.

The Abdul Latif Jameel Group bought the initial Spanish owner of the Moree solar farm, Foto­watio Renewable Ventures (or FRV), in 2015 and is now expanding with the Clare project near Ayr in Queensland and two developments at Tieri and Baralaba in the same state.

FRV Australia declined to respond to questions about the level of the subsidies and whether it supported a clean energy target.

The Australian’s analysis of the payments to the Moree project are based on an $80 value for renewable energy certificates until 2020, in line with current market prices, and a $60 value over the decade to 2030.

The total amount handed to the company falls to about $250m if the value of the RET certificates drops to $30 over the next decade. It falls to $200m in the unlikely event the certificates fall to zero from a glut of renewable power.

Peta Credlin, a former chief of staff to Tony Abbott as prime minister, called on Mr Turnbull last night to suspend the RET immediately, but the Senate has refused to agree to this option in the past and the payments to Moree and AGL are set in law.

The 150,000 megawatt hours of electricity from the Moree solar farm are about 2 per cent of the 8000 gigawatt hours from Liddell, highlighting the difficulty in replacing the coal power station when it is due to close in 2022.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O’Shannassy is calling for a government commitment to a clean energy target to ensure investment in new generation. The ACF cites advice from the Australian Electricity Market Operator from January last year showing that coal power stations will have to close by 2030 to meet Australia’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Finkel yesterday repeated his call for a clean energy target, saying the states would go ahead with separate plans unless there was action by Canberra.

AGL chief financial officer Brett Redman said solar costs were falling so quickly that the company would build solar rather than coal even if there was no emission reduction target.

The government has prioritised reliable power supply with a framework that could offer incentives for gas and possibly coal power that can be delivered at any time, rather than expanding the subsidies for renewables.

NSW Nationals senator John Williams said the payments to the Moree project showed that ­renewables had to “stand on their own two feet” in the future.

The Nationals MP whose electorate includes the Moree farm, Mark Coulton, said the subsidies highlighted the argument the ­Coalition was now having over energy policy.

Former Queensland Nationals senator Ron Boswell has named the Moree project as an example of the “staggering” amount of the subsidies.
 

 

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There's a reason that government offer subsidies or impose taxes. It's to influence behaviour. The government obviously wants to increase renewable energy adoption to meet their Paris climate objectives. Hence the subsidies. 

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The truth about soaring power prices: wind and solar not to blame

Quote

Between them, however, competition kahuna Rod Sims and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week demolished an old chestnut about renewable energy: it is not the cause for the recent spike in electricity prices.

In fact, according to both, it has had very little impact.

For the past decade or more, we've been bombarded with the message from a vocal but powerful minority within Parliament and the broader community that the switch to renewable energy has made Australia uncompetitive, crippled our industry and driven power prices higher.

The real issue is that, fundamentally, they don't believe climate change is real or that humans have adversely affected the planet.

Having spent so long denying science and rejecting the overwhelming body of evidence, they're now being forced to ignore economics; that renewables have become a cheaper longer term power source.

Coal is the future, they argue.

That's simply not a view shared by the power generators, whose primary motivation is to turn a profit and stay in business, or the banks who must finance them.

Nor is it a view shared by BHP, the nation's biggest company that built a large part of its wealth on coal exports.

Last week, it confirmed it was reviewing its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia because of "materially different positions" on issues such as a Clean Energy Target and climate change.

Technical innovation around renewable energy generation has seen costs plummet.

So much so that US investment bank Goldman Sachs — hardly a standard bearer for radical ideology — now argues that, rather than pushing power costs higher, renewable energy is the cheapest form of power generation. More on that later.

The truth about the power price spike

As the theatre over keeping open the creaking Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW's Hunter Valley played an encore last week, the ACCC boss and the PM delivered a few sobering nuggets.

First, there was Rod Sims at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday: "Forty-one per cent of the increase in electricity prices over the last 10 years has been in network costs and we keep forgetting that."

He went on: "Those poles and wires that run down your street are the main reason you are paying too much for your electricity."

According to Mr Sims, extra retail charges account for 24 per cent of the higher prices while higher generation costs as a result of a failure to invest make up 19 per cent of the price hikes.

Green energy initiatives contribute just 16 per cent to the recent price hikes.

On Thursday in Brisbane, responding to questions, the PM concurred, explaining that "particularly for retail customers, the largest single part of your bill is the network costs."

"That's the poles and wires basically," he said.

But then he elaborated on the more immediate issues, particularly around generation and the changes that have been foisted upon consumers.

"In terms of the green schemes, they do have a cost but it is a relatively small cost," he said.

"Gas is the biggest single fact at this point in time."

What does gas have to do with it? As the PM explained, the electricity price is set by the last generator to come into the stack.

It's what economists call the marginal cost of production. You might be to meet half the demand at low price. But it is the expensive bit at the end that determines how much a producer will charge everyone.

When it comes to electricity, gas is that last final element.

"It is peaking power," the PM said. "The increase in the gas price has increased the cost of electricity."

The gas debacle

Gas prices haven't just increased. They have quadrupled.

And the tragedy is that Australia, with one of the greatest reserves of gas on the planet, now charges its households and businesses far more to use that energy than the countries to which we export.

With the continued reversal of policy on carbon pricing and climate change, the unofficial industry consensus was to build solar and wind generation with gas-fired back-up to shore up reliability; a decision affirmed by the chief scientist Alan Finkel in his report on how to cope with future challenges.

But three major export terminals were built at Curtis Island just off Gladstone in Queensland, with Santos building a plant that required far more gas than to which it had access.

To fulfil its export contracts, it began sourcing gas previously destined for the domestic market.

That forced the price of domestic gas sky high just as a global glut sent international prices crashing.

It's now cheaper to buy Australian gas in Asia. A fortnight ago, gas from West Australia's giant Gorgon project was sold to India at $8.70 a gigajoule. East coast gas sells here for $17.50.

That's why the Federal Government has shanghaied gas producers like Santos to direct export gas back into the local market.

If Australians could get the same deal on our gas that Indians have secured, our electricity would be much cheaper.

Renewables or coal: What is the cheapest?

A line chart showing the price of LCOE dropping dramatically since 1983.

 

A line graph projecting that costs of LCOE solar will continue falling 2009-2025.

 

When it comes to cost, coal lobbyists usually refer to the subsidies doled out to the renewable sector to argue the industry wouldn't exist if it had to stand on its own.

That's a valid point. But it overlooks two things; the vast billions handed out to the coal industry and the increasing competitiveness of renewables.

Every coal fired generator in Australia was built, not just partially subsidised, entirely with taxpayer funds.

When they were privatised, many were given state owned coal mines with contract prices way below market, effectively a further subsidy.

 

Then there are the health costs.

health study in the Latrobe Valley last yearidentified much higher respiratory and asthma admissions to hospital than the Victorian average while life expectancy was significantly lower than the state average.

But it is the cost of energy generation where the game really is changing.

As the Goldman Sachs graphs above show, renewable energy costs have plunged by up to 70 per cent since 2009 and will be the cheapest form of generation in Europe this year and in the US within eight years on a levelised cost basis.

When the cost of installation is taken into account, however, the story changes.

 

Wind and solar are much cheaper. Not only is the fuel free and faces no regulatory risk — in the form of a carbon price — but the technology is simpler and quicker to install.

Australia's chief scientist Alan Finkel went one step further. He factored the extra costs of adding gas or battery backup to ensure stability or baseload power in the system.

Wind still came out cheapest, with solar only marginally more expensive than black coal.

Renewable plants can be built within one to three years while coal-fired plants take between four and seven years to build.

Putting aside arguments about climate change, the main problem with coal-fired electricity is that the numbers no longer stack up.

It's too expensive, it has much higher regulatory risks and renewable technology is rapidly advancing.

It will take more than a taxpayer subsidy to build one here. It will need a full taxpayer handout. And it will result in more expensive power bills.

Coal is simply a form of stored solar energy. New technology has delivering cleaner, more efficient and cheaper ways to directly harvest solar energy to power our lives.

Don't expect that innovation to stop.

 

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14 hours ago, staringclown said:

Can renewables provide the reliable base load for big cities? The answer is no. Hence you need to run dual systems, which logically can only make it more expensive. Remove the RET and let's see if a gas plant is more economical than renewables to reliable run a big city.

The only good news is that the religion is increasingly being questioned:

How scientists got their global warming sums wrong — and created a £1TRILLION-a-year green industry that bullied experts who dared to question the figures

The bad news is that those who organised what is increasingly likely to be one of (if not the biggest) con scams in history will never be held accountable. They will only given Tim Flannery awards but no jail sentence. Those who expect to live another 20-30 years should record  what is being published, so that they can inform the new generation, hopefully to avoid the next worldwide scam.

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4 hours ago, cobran20 said:

Can renewables provide the reliable base load for big cities? The answer is no. Hence you need to run dual systems, which logically can only make it more expensive. Remove the RET and let's see if a gas plant is more economical than renewables to reliable run a big city.

The only good news is that the religion is increasingly being questioned:

How scientists got their global warming sums wrong — and created a £1TRILLION-a-year green industry that bullied experts who dared to question the figures

The bad news is that those who organised what is increasingly likely to be one of (if not the biggest) con scams in history will never be held accountable. They will only given Tim Flannery awards but no jail sentence. Those who expect to live another 20-30 years should record  what is being published, so that they can inform the new generation, hopefully to avoid the next worldwide scam.

The reliability is less about base load and more about peak demand. We don't require 'dual' systems.We require more rapid deployment during peak periods. 

I'm glad that you are finally accepting the science is valid. Here's the author of the paper you cited on the false assertions made by the media on his recently published paper.

Quote

A number of media reports have asserted that our recent study in Nature Geoscience indicates that global temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and hence that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is no longer urgent.

Both assertions are false.

Our results are entirely in line with the IPCC’s 2013 prediction that temperatures in the 2020s would be 0.9-1.3 degrees above pre-industrial (See figures 2c and 3a of our article which show the IPCC prediction, our projections, and temperatures of recent years).

What we have done is to update the implications for the amount of carbon dioxide we can still emit while expecting global temperatures to remain below the Paris Climate Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees. We find that, to likely meet the Paris goal, emission reductions would need to begin immediately and reach zero in less than 40 years’ time.

While that is not geophysically impossible, to suggest that this means that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are now unnecessary is clearly false.

Authors: 

 

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2 hours ago, staringclown said:

The reliability is less about base load and more about peak demand. We don't require 'dual' systems.We require more rapid deployment during peak periods. 

1

I, like many households, have appliances that need to run for a bit but not constantly. If we had a system/tech that could control these appliances to turn them off/on to smooth the demand for power that may make a difference to peak demand.

For example:

Freezer - Only needs to run for a couple of hours a couple of times a day. Doesn't matter when.

Dishwasher - load it up, press go. As long as the dishes are done within 12-24 hours I don't care when it operates. Same for a washing machine. Same for a pool pump.

On a smaller level power could be cut to ac and fridges for an hour or so. 

It already exists for hot water systems. I'd imagine there would need to be changes to the household electric system and appliances. 

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6 hours ago, staringclown said:

Rest assured that I'm accepting the science in the same manner as the peak freeze theory. This will go down as another fine example of crowd psychology where the chicken littles will find the sky has not fallen ... but this time at a massive economic cost to society. But on the other hand, there will be lost of news toys for some to play with, whilst others struggle to pay their energy bills.

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The increase in power costs in the above article was for largely the poles and wires wasn't it? They are boring toys.

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3 hours ago, tor said:

The increase in power costs in the above article was for largely the poles and wires wasn't it? They are boring toys.

Some but not all. You see the easiest way to sort this out would be to remove all subsidies (including RET) and let the private industry compete with no constraints on using renewables vs coal/gas. Providing there are no restrictions to the market place and the government requires that a reliable generation must be provided, you will soon find out who can produce the cheapest electricity in n open market place. The same poles&wires can be used for all options. That removes the bias of any 'independent' reports as competition (and the risk of going bankrupt due to unable to compete).

Australia has ample natural resources and providing the government demands availability to them for the local market (as it can under current laws), then my money is on fossil fuels being the cheapest. At the end, I don't care for which option as long as it provides the most cost efficient solution rather than a expensive one supported by artificially high prices (as in RET).

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3 hours ago, cobran20 said:

Rest assured that I'm accepting the science in the same manner as the peak freeze theory. This will go down as another fine example of crowd psychology where the chicken littles will find the sky has not fallen ... but this time at a massive economic cost to society. But on the other hand, there will be lost of news toys for some to play with, whilst others struggle to pay their energy bills.

Now I'm confused. You use a media report that cites a scientific paper to disprove warming. The scientists that wrote the paper issue a clarification claiming the media have made false assertions. The media got it wrong either because of incompetence or to deliberately mislead the public. It is obvious that the 'journalists' have mislead you, not the scientists. A quick browse of the paper shows that. Yet you disown the science and stick with the 'journalists' view? 

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20 minutes ago, cobran20 said:

Some but not all. You see the easiest way to sort this out would be to remove all subsidies (including RET) and let the private industry compete with no constraints on using renewables vs coal/gas. Providing there are no restrictions to the market place and the government requires that a reliable generation must be provided, you will soon find out who can produce the cheapest electricity in n open market place. The same poles&wires can be used for all options. That removes the bias of any 'independent' reports as competition (and the risk of going bankrupt due to unable to compete).

Australia has ample natural resources and providing the government demands availability to them for the local market (as it can under current laws), then my money is on fossil fuels being the cheapest. At the end, I don't care for which option as long as it provides the most cost efficient solution rather than a expensive one supported by artificially high prices (as in RET).

The article from the ABC says different.

The coal fired power stations were paid for completely with tax payers dollars not just subsidised. 

If you factor in the construction costs, the negative externalities of fossil fuels (pollution and subsequent health costs, mitigation of CO2 emissions, the risk of developing stranded assets, trade penalties by the rest of the world for not meeting emissions targets, , economic damage caused by global warming) they would be way more expensive.

There is no such thing as an open market place. The government regulates virtually every industry. The interventions being made into private businesses now by the so called party of the free market are extraordinary. 

Renewable subsidies have raised power prices by 16% of the total rises. Lack of investment due to the lack of a clear policy have raised prices far more than renewable subsidies. This is objective fact and has been measured. Poles and wires a the largest portion of the rises.

Removing subsidies on all forms of generation is a moot point. We'll never see it. The government knows that renewables are popular and that the majority of the population are concerned about AGW.

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8 hours ago, zaph said:

I, like many households, have appliances that need to run for a bit but not constantly. If we had a system/tech that could control these appliances to turn them off/on to smooth the demand for power that may make a difference to peak demand.

For example:

Freezer - Only needs to run for a couple of hours a couple of times a day. Doesn't matter when.

Dishwasher - load it up, press go. As long as the dishes are done within 12-24 hours I don't care when it operates. Same for a washing machine. Same for a pool pump.

On a smaller level power could be cut to ac and fridges for an hour or so. 

It already exists for hot water systems. I'd imagine there would need to be changes to the household electric system and appliances. 

I had one of those energy saving switches that kill standby power a few years back. It was a bit flaky and kept turning off the telly mid watch. I finally got sick of it and tossed it out.

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35 minutes ago, staringclown said:

I had one of those energy saving switches that kill standby power a few years back. It was a bit flaky and kept turning off the telly mid watch. I finally got sick of it and tossed it out.

Version 1.0 failed you; wait for v 1.2 to be released, you will be happy. :D

It's possible at the moment with water heating. I get T33, at least 18 hours of electricity a day for my water heating at .1996 vs normal power at .2461. Never had a cold shower. 

There needs to be financial incentives. My washing machine and dishwasher both have the ability to choose to delay the start time, which I'd do if the power was cheaper then. 

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I long to be happy. :)

Can't avoid gas costs in Canberra in winter. It is required to thaw ms clown and myself out. Plus cooking with gas is a must.

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2 hours ago, staringclown said:

The article from the ABC says different.

The coal fired power stations were paid for completely with tax payers dollars not just subsidised. 

If you factor in the construction costs, the negative externalities of fossil fuels (pollution and subsequent health costs, mitigation of CO2 emissions, the risk of developing stranded assets, trade penalties by the rest of the world for not meeting emissions targets, , economic damage caused by global warming) they would be way more expensive.

There is no such thing as an open market place. The government regulates virtually every industry. The interventions being made into private businesses now by the so called party of the free market are extraordinary. 

Renewable subsidies have raised power prices by 16% of the total rises. Lack of investment due to the lack of a clear policy have raised prices far more than renewable subsidies. This is objective fact and has been measured. Poles and wires a the largest portion of the rises.

Removing subsidies on all forms of generation is a moot point. We'll never see it. The government knows that renewables are popular and that the majority of the population are concerned about AGW.

I would like to see details on the subsidies provided to the fossil fuel industry. They would have received tax deductions on exploration costs, which is a legitimate expense to the mining industry for the risk of finding 'nothing'. But once in production mode, what specific subsidies were given for energy generation purposes?

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1 hour ago, zaph said:

Version 1.0 failed you; wait for v 1.2 to be released, you will be happy. :D

It's possible at the moment with water heating. I get T33, at least 18 hours of electricity a day for my water heating at .1996 vs normal power at .2461. Never had a cold shower. 

There needs to be financial incentives. My washing machine and dishwasher both have the ability to choose to delay the start time, which I'd do if the power was cheaper then. 

You need a 'reliable' renewable option like we have. Our solar panels go from generating 5kw to 10% of that the moment a cloud covers the sun. Too many cloudy days and it will take an eternity to recover the upfront costs.

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1 hour ago, staringclown said:

I long to be happy. :)

Can't avoid gas costs in Canberra in winter. It is required to thaw ms clown and myself out. Plus cooking with gas is a must.

Gas cooking is the best. Here in Brisbane, very few people have gas (apart from what comes out of their arses). There are only a few inner city burbs with it on tap. Everywhere else you have to have bottles and that's expensive and inconvenient. Most people just use electricity for cooking. 

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49 minutes ago, cobran20 said:

You need a 'reliable' renewable option like we have. Our solar panels go from generating 5kw to 10% of that the moment a cloud covers the sun. Too many cloudy days and it will take an eternity to recover the upfront costs.

Google tells me that solar panels produce 50%, not 10 on a cloudy day. Stop fibbing to support your religion. 

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3 hours ago, zaph said:

Google tells me that solar panels produce 50%, not 10 on a cloudy day. Stop fibbing to support your religion. 

I can only quote what the meter on the inverter displays before my eyes.

It is a totally agnostic reading! -_-

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13 hours ago, cobran20 said:

I can only quote what the meter on the inverter displays before my eyes.

It is a totally agnostic reading! -_-

I thought you hadn't decided to buy solar yet. Who's house have you snuck into?

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3 hours ago, tor said:

I thought you hadn't decided to buy solar yet. Who's house have you snuck into?

I mentioned in another thread that I bought a 5.4kw system a couple of months ago, to see if it will pay itself back in 5-6 years, based on the excessive electricity prices. As I said at the time, I see this purchase as a hidden tax supporting renewables, courtesy of the RET scheme.

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6 hours ago, cobran20 said:

I mentioned in another thread that I bought a 5.4kw system a couple of months ago, to see if it will pay itself back in 5-6 years, based on the excessive electricity prices. As I said at the time, I see this purchase as a hidden tax supporting renewables, courtesy of the RET scheme.

Ah didn't see that. Did you post details in the other thread (if so link?). After the grand cigar investment worked out I have decided that any investment which makes money based on obvious things like excise going up by X% every year I figure taking advantage of the electricity companies game play for the house in hornsby might be worth considering.

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