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Australia encouraging wind and solar technology – at a slow pace

Posted at July 2, 2012 | By : | Categories : News | 0 Comment

The Australian and New Zealand governments have introduced legislation, an offshoot of which is to encourage investing in renewable energy. As they are among the countries directly affected by ozone depletion, this is no surprise. Although the curbing of carbon emissions is central to the Antipodean culture, eco friendliness appears to take some time – relative to other countries and territories – before it is enshrined in legislation. Environmental concern – rather than government itself – appears to dictate a move towards and investment in alternative investment initiatives, such as research and development in the field of solar photovoltaic technologies.

For example, German and Japanese targets for solar energy by the year 2020 are at 20 percent of total energy production. Australia’s targets are not as high – a surprise, given Australia’s reputation as a continent of sunny climes, which could be completely exploited in the sector. Instead, Australia focuses on the full exploitation of traditional power plants, fuelled by coal, improving their capacity and efficiency. This is not encouraging for those who are eager to go into the renewable energy sector.

While some countries have a 20 percent figure for solar energy alone, Australian legislation has been introduced to have that 20 percent energy figure being generated from all renewable energy sources by that year – including wind and solar.

Renewable energy certificates have come down in price in the region – some say due to ambiguity in the technology and the legislation. “Solar multiplier” amendments have been made to 2020 targets in order to encourage rooftop solar panels. This has seen an increase in the number of smaller installations that are specifically used for heating water, as well as those that use photovoltaic technology to provide electricity. However, wind power is regarded as the more cost effective of the two technologies with respect to large scale projects. Australia has among the best winds in the world when it comes to their potential in the sector, and investing in renewable energy such as this is definitely a lucrative prospect.