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EECA and solar economics

posted Oct 31, 2012, 5:29 PM by ema-1 ema-1
"Photovoltaics - the cells that convert sunlight into electricity - have suddenly plunged within reach of the average punter. Manufacturers of good quality panels for Europe have a glut since solar subsidies shrivelled, says Seanz chairman Brendan Winitana. Seanz calculates that right now solar is cheaper than buying from the national grid. The strong dollar helps, says installer and PV design lecturer Jeroen Brand of Alphatron Pacific, who estimates solar works out at roughly 10 to 15 cents a kilowatt-hour (plus GST) over a system's 25-year life span. This compares with an average 27c/kWh cost for conventional electricity. Seanz says solar is cheaper even after factoring in the cost of not using the money to pay a chunk of the mortgage (6 or 7 per cent a year) - especially given the pace of power price hikes. It sounds like a bargain. So why does government agency Eeca want to rain on the party? This is where we get to the fine print"

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