The Australia Government spent up to the end of 2009 more than one billion dollars subsiding the most expensive form of power generation, the installation of solar panels on domestic roof tops. Most of these solar panel installations are not efficient installations optimised to get the most power possible. No they face west, they have trees overhanging them, they are tiny 1kw installations, they are just one of the most inefficient ways to get power.
And for this billion dollars spent by the Australia Government, how much power did we get?
How does this compare with Loy Yang power station in Victoria, that the Greens and the Victorian Government love to hate? Loy Yang produces 2200 megawatts. So if we keep investing at this rate we will have to spend 18 billion dollars on home solar panel installations to replace one power station, and that will only be with power produced during the day in summer. What are we going to use for power on winter nights?
As a comparison we could have built a Solar Thermal plant like the 100 megawatt Andasol solar power station in Andalusia, Spain, at a cost of $500 million dollars. But no, we prefer the feel-good of inefficiently placed solar panel installations on peoples roofs.
However there is more. Afer subsidising all these solar panel installations on peoples homes, we have to keep on subsidising them. With the special feed-in tariffs provided by several state governments we are paying more than 100 times more for power from the home solar panel installations as compared to a coal fired power station. We will be paying millions more for this scheme for many years in the future.