Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #88

1 September 2005

Solar is booming

With the price of oil climbing to US$70 a barrel, the demand for Solar on the world market is dramatically increasing. After decades of money- losing research, the major players like BP Solar, Kyocera, and Sharp are starting to show a return on the investment. Sharp, the world’s market leader, sold more than $1 Billion worth of solar, and solar panels now account for 5% of Kyocera's annual sales. All solar PV production is sold until next year and significant shortages of solar panels are being experienced.

Time magazine notes that solar panel costs have fallen 66% over the last decade. Company analysts estimate that a further 50% reduction would make solar powered electricity costs comparable with other types of fuel within the next decade. If oil and gas prices continue to increase, this cost parity could come a lot sooner.

Despite this boom, one still occasionally hears that the energy Payback for a solar panel is negative- that is to say it takes more energy to make a solar panel than can ever be produced from it.

According to a US Department of Energy, NREL report "Energy Payback-: Clean Energy from PV", the payback ranges from one to four years even accounting for all the energy costs including to make the aluminium frame, the glass front etc.

A Dutch Utrecht University report places the Energy Payback at 1.3 to 4.6 years and Siemens Solar Industries suggested a 1.8 to 4.1 year Payback.

New Solar Kits and Lights

In a few weeks we will be announcing a new partnership with a large manufacturer of Solar Lighting Kits and 12V accessories. These will be a quality product with major components tested for, or by the World Bank. They will be attractively priced.

For a start there will be two kits- the larger one will have a 50W panel, sealed battery, digital display regulator and six fluoro lights. The smaller one will be similar with a 14 W Panel and two high quality waterproof fluoro lights. Both Kits will be completely pre wired. These kits have been developed especially for our Pacific neighbours who are painfully experiencing increasing higher costs to run their kerosene lanterns.

We will announce all of the details in our October 1st Newsletter, however we expect to finalise pricing and have stock on the floor in about three weeks. Let me know if you wish to be notified as soon as possible.

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.