Solar water heating savings questioned
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 5:19a.m.
Solar water heaters save electricity, but not when it's needed most on cold dark days in winter, a new report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says.
Commissioner Jan Wright released her report into solar water heating and renewable energy on Thursday.
The report looks at the extent to which solar water heaters could help reduce the need to build more fossil fuel power plants which emit carbon dioxide, the major climate-changing greenhouse gas.
"While solar water heaters save electricity, they are least effective when savings are needed most - on the cold dark days in winter when people have their heaters and lights running and fossil fuel plants are cranked up to meet this peak demand," Dr Wright said.
Even in large numbers, solar water heaters don't help to flatten this peak demand.
However, Andrew Booth, chief executive of solar power company SolarCity, said Dr Wright's findings are "out of step" with guidance from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA has encouraged all OECD countries to increase their funding for solar hot water heating and cooling, Mr Booth said.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
5/08/2012 11:34:13 a.m.
I wonder what Andrew Booth's background in the solar industry actually is??? Is his firm a manufacturing company or simply a retailer? His inclusion in this article must be motivated by reason of expertise in the industry or??? All a bit strange for someone who doesn't seem to have been long in the industry. Tell us more.
26/07/2012 1:28:09 p.m.
If take the cost of a solar installation, add the finance cost of, and the maintenence as solarcells deteriate over time, plus the ongoing cleaning - solar is not as cheap as claimed.The solar cells use materials which require mining - something Greens are against even to build solar cells!Removing old solar cells is also a problem as some materials used in them are considered toxic to the enviroment.We are told that if everyone used the energy savig bulbs we would use around 20% the electricity for lighting. sounds good, and i've seen the prices in the supermarket have been coming down so an energy saver bulb now only 2x the price of a plain bulb when they used to be about 6x the price. But the energy saving bulbs contain mercury - a very unfriendly toxic for waste. Energy saving bulbs use old fluroescent tech which has been replaced by the newer (but still old) LED tech which has been around for over 50 years. New TV's now use LED vs fluro tech for back lighting as it is cheaper to make, uses less room, and uses about 20% the power of fluro, ie LED lighing in the home would be about 20% of the power used of energy saving bulbs, or like 4% of the old plain bulbs, plus their disposal would be less toxic than the energy sving bulbs!
26/07/2012 12:33:22 p.m.
I am wondering if the cold dark days the parliamentary commission are referring to are when the govt has sold off all our assets when power,other utility bills and primary food product prices have gone through the roof. Is this more about avoiding people using alternative energy sources the govt can not sell.
26/07/2012 7:19:36 a.m.
That's pretty damn obvious to any lay person, i hope they didn't waste any money discovering that bit of knowledge.
A stranded orca has been rescued from the Kaipara Harbour after commercial fishermen noticed it stuck on a sandbank.
Earlier this month a group of friends decided they wanted to see the great outdoors and raise a bit of awareness about the environment.
The sweet smell of rubbish has caused problems for police in Los Angeles after a black bear caught a whiff.
A 15-year-old school student has developed a new test that could detect cancerous tumours before they become too advanced to treat.
Super tornadoes are likely to happen more often as the world warms, according to NIWA.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.