fbpx
Energy Stuff - Solar Systems, Solar System Repairs, New Systems, Upgrades & Monitoring

Amazon-backed Rivian says Australia a target for all-electric utes

Amazon-backed Rivian says Australia a target for all-electric utes

Written by Bridie Schmidt / The Driven / 19 February 2019

CEO and founder of electric vehicle startup Rivian, RJ Scaringe, has said that he considers Australia is an important market for his EV company, firming up reports of the company’s intention to create a right-hand drive version of its rugged all-electric SUV, the R1S, and the R1T ute.

The comment, which was made on Twitter in response to a query from Tim Washington, the CEO of Australian-Based EV charging company Jet Charge, follows news that internet giant Amazon is investing $US700 million ($A980 million) in the EV startup.

As Washington points out, Australia is a perfect fit for Rivian’s EVs which are what it calls “the world’s first electric adventure vehicles”.

And so it seems, does RJ Scaringe:

It’s not just idle talk either; Washington believes a real opportunity exists for Rivian in Australia, where made-to-last, rough-and-tumble vehicles form part of the country’s psyche.

“We’re really excited to see a company like Rivian considering coming to Australia,” Washington tells The Driven.

“Our two best sellers are the in Australia are Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, both of those being dual cabs. Amarok, Navarra, Triton are all staples …. which means Australia has a love affair with dual cabs,” he says.

Washington draws a comparison between Rivian’s R1T pickup (ute), and says that the fact that Rivian are offering their all-electric vehicles with up to 800kWh batteries and 600km range is significant.

“Rivian’s story is all about electric adventure, and almost one of the final barriers to mass EV uptake [in Australia] is the Australian dream to drive where ever you want, we want to go camping and go offroad,” he says.

“We have this perception of a big brown land and freedom associated with motor vehicles, more so than other countries – we are more like the US in that regard.”

The dreams of freedom and adventure that are embedded in a brand like Rivian could be a game-changer for Australians that want long range electric vehicles – but the size of the batteries also fills other needs, such as powering camping kit such as kettles, lights and so on.

“Rivian will have 180kWh batteries (which would need to be kept charged at campsites) – you don’t need a big campervan or trailer, you can just use your car,” Washington says.

Of course, that’s where companies like Jet Charge come in – for Washington, the prospect of a company like Rivian bringing EVs to Australia highlights the need for ultra fast chargers.

“With the first 350kW units are starting to go in, it comes at the perfect time,” he says.

“We want Rivian to consider having Australia as one of their first markets.”

With distinctive oblong headlights and no-nonsense solid design, the R1S and R1T that Rivian says boast an incredible 370-660km range depending on battery option (105 kW, 135kW or 180kW battery packs are on offer), and good torque that starts at 560Nm for even the lowest spec’d model.

Add to that a 5000kg towing capacity for the R1T ute and 3,500kg for the R1S SUV – plus a wading depth for both of 3 feet – and you have a pretty good setup for some offroad adventuring right there.

The Rivian R1S. Source: Twitter/Rivian

While Rivian is still a little known name for many, it does look like big things are on the horizon for the company which first hit the media spotlight last November when it launched its electric SUV and ute (referred to in the US as a pickup) at the 2018 LA Auto Show.

The deal with Amazon brings Rivian’s total fund raising to date to around $US1.15 billion ($A1.6 billion), and will enable the EV startup to cement strategic relationships that will be valuable as it works towards a scale-up.

“We will bring on additional partners, but less because of capital reasons and more because of a need to have strategic relationships as we scale towards our broader vision,” said Scaringe, per Bloomberg.

Rivian are also in talks with GM reportedly, although further details about that are under wraps until an agreement is reached – if this happens, it could balloon Rivian’s value to $US2 billion, people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg.

The Rivian R1T. Source: Twitter/Rivian

When will Rivian make it here, though? Washington says that while pre-orders for Australia were supposed to open last year, this still has not eventuated on the Rivian website.

Both are still for the moment available for pre-order in the US, and only (of course) in left-hand drive – there is no firm pricing yet for either vehicle.

Energy Stuff specialises in Residential Solar with emphasis on Repairs, Replacements and upgrades. We also provide new systems, battery storage, Off-Grid systems and smart monitoring systems so call us if we can be of support 1300 656 205 or go to our website at http://www.energystuff.com.au

SolarEdge Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Financial Results

February 20, 2019 at 4:05 PM EST

FREMONT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 20, 2019– SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SEDG), a global leader in smart energy technology, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018.

Fourth Quarter 2018 Highlights

  • Total revenues of $263.7 million
  • GAAP gross margin of 30.2%
  • GAAP net diluted EPS of $0.27
  • Non-GAAP net diluted EPS of $0.63
  • 1.1 Gigawatts (AC) of inverters shipped
  • Revenues from solar products of $243.4 million
  • Non-GAAP gross margin from sale of solar products of 32.8%

Full Year 2018 Highlights

  • Total revenues of $937.2 million
  • GAAP gross margin of 34.1%
  • GAAP net diluted EPS of $2.69
  • Non-GAAP net diluted EPS of $3.17
  • 3.9 Gigawatts (AC) of inverters shipped
  • Revenues from solar products of $914.3 million
  • Non-GAAP gross margin from sale of solar products of 35.4%

“We are happy to report another record revenue quarter and a very strong year in which we continued to take market share,” said Guy Sella, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SolarEdge. “In addition to the growth and strong profitability of our solar business, this quarter we continued to lay the foundations for our non-solar future growth with the acquisition of Kokam, a leading provider of lithium-ion batteries and the post quarter acquisition of a majority holding of S.M.R.E, a provider of innovative integrated powertrain technology and electronics for the e-mobility market. I am confident that these acquisitions, which will initially dilute our margins and EPS, will over time and with our investment, innovation and operational excellence, become a meaningful part of the SolarEdge success.”

Fourth Quarter 2018 Summary

The Company reported record revenues of $263.7 million, up 11% from $236.6 million in the prior quarter and up 39% from $189.3 million year over year.

GAAP gross margin was 30.2%, down from 33.0% in the prior quarter and down from 37.5% year over year.

Non-GAAP gross margin was 30.9%, down from 33.6% in the prior quarter and down from 37.9% year over year.

GAAP operating expenses were $55.3 million, up 26% from $43.9 million in the prior quarter and up 52% from $36.4 million year over year.

Non-GAAP operating expenses were $45.1 million, up 22% from $37.0 million in the prior quarter and up 42% from $31.7 million year over year.

GAAP operating income was $24.4 million, down 28% from $34.0 million in the prior quarter and down 29% from $34.6 million year over year.

Non-GAAP operating income was $36.4 million, down 14% from $42.5 million in the prior quarter and down 9% from $40.0 million year over year.

GAAP net income was $12.9 million, down 72% from $45.6 million in the prior quarter and down 34% from $19.5 million year over year.

Non-GAAP net income was $31.5 million, down 26% from $42.7 million in the prior quarter and down 24% from $41.2 million year over year.

GAAP net diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) was $0.27, down from $0.95 in the prior quarter and down from $0.42 year over year.

Non-GAAP net diluted EPS was $0.63, down from $0.86 in the prior quarter and down from $0.85 year over year.

Cash flow from operating activities was $46.9 million, up from $34.3 million in the prior quarter and up from $45.8 million year over year.

As of December 31, 2018, cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, bank deposit and marketable securities totaled $392.2 million, compared to $453.2 million on September 30, 2018 following a payment of $101.2 million for the acquisition of Kokam shares.

Full Year 2018 Summary

Total revenues of $937.2 million, up 54% from the prior year.

GAAP gross margin was 34.1%, down from 35.4% in the prior year.

GAAP operating income was $139.9 million, up 54% from $91.1 million in the prior year.

GAAP net income was $128.8 million, up 53% from $84.2 million in the prior year.

Non-GAAP net income was $157.3 million, up 37% from $115.0 million in the prior year.

GAAP net diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) was $2.69, up from $1.85 in the prior year.

Non-GAAP net diluted EPS was $3.17, up from $2.43 in the prior year.

Cash flow from operating activities of $189.1 million, up from $136.7 million in the prior year.

Outlook for the First Quarter 2019

The Company also provides guidance for the first quarter ending March 31, 2019 as follows:

  • Revenues to be within the range of $260 million to $270 million
  • Gross margins expected to be within the range of 30% to 32%
  • Revenues from solar products to be within the range of $245 million to $255 million
  • Gross margins from sale of solar products expected to be within the range of 32% to 34%

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call to discuss these results at 4:30 P.M. ET on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The call will be available, live, to interested parties by dialing 800-682-0995. For international callers, please dial +1 334-323-0505. The Conference ID number is 3109753. A live webcast will also be available in the Investors Relations section of the Company’s website at: http://investors.solaredge.com

A replay of the webcast will be available in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s web site approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and will remain available for approximately 30 calendar days.

About SolarEdge

SolarEdge is a global leader in smart energy technology. By leveraging world-class engineering capabilities and with a relentless focus on innovation, SolarEdge creates smart energy solutions that power our lives and drive future progress. SolarEdge developed an intelligent inverter solution that changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SolarEdge DC optimized inverter seeks to maximize power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the PV system. Continuing to advance smart energy, SolarEdge addresses a broad range of energy market segments through its PV, storage, EV charging, batteries, UPS, and grid services solutions. SolarEdge is online at solaredge.com

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Company has presented certain non-GAAP financial measures in this release, such as non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP net diluted EPS, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP operating expenses, non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP gross margin from sale of solar products. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s performance, financial position, or cash flows that either exclude or include amounts that are not normally excluded or included in the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP. Reconciliation of each non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure can be found in the accompanying tables to this release. These non-GAAP financial measures do not reflect a comprehensive system of accounting, differ from GAAP measures with the same captions and may differ from non-GAAP financial measures with the same or similar captions that are used by other companies. As such, these non-GAAP measures should be considered as a supplement to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures calculated in accordance with GAAP.

The Company uses these non-GAAP financial measures to analyze its operating performance and future prospects, develop internal budgets and financial goals, and to facilitate period-to-period comparisons. The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures reflect an additional way of viewing aspects of its operations that, when viewed with its GAAP results, provide a more complete understanding of factors and trends affecting its business.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This release contains forward looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include information, among other things, concerning: our possible or assumed future results of operations; future demands for solar energy solutions; business strategies; technology developments; financing and investment plans; dividend policy; competitive position; industry and regulatory environment; general economic conditions; potential growth opportunities; and the effects of competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “seek,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” or similar expressions and the negative or plural of those terms and other like terminology.

Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Given these factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed on February 20, 2018, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC. All information set forth in this release is as of February 20, 2019. The Company undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or changes in its expectations.

SOLAREDGE TECHNOLOGIES INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share data)
Three months endedDecember 31,Year ended December 31,
2018201720182017
Unaudited
Revenues$263,670$189,340$937,237$607,045
Cost of revenues183,959118,370618,001392,279
Gross profit79,71170,970319,236214,766
Operating expenses:
Research and development, net24,71016,42082,24554,966
Sales and marketing19,21014,07968,30750,032
General and administrative11,4025,90028,82918,682
Total operating expenses55,32236,399179,381123,680
Operating income24,38934,571139,85591,086
Other expenses435435
Financial expenses (income), net(288)(1,487)2,297(9,158)
Income before taxes on income24,24236,058137,123100,244
Taxes on income (tax benefit)12,09316,5569,07716,072
Net income$12,149$19,502$128,046$84,172
Net loss attributable to non-controlling interests787787
Net income attributable to SolarEdge Technologies Inc.$12,936$19,502$128,833$84,172
SOLAREDGE TECHNOLOGIES INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands)
December 31,
20182017
CURRENT ASSETS:
Cash and cash equivalents$191,633$163,163
Short-term bank deposits6,001
Restricted cash1,6281,516
Marketable securities118,68077,264
Trade receivables, net173,579109,528
Prepaid expenses and other current assets45,07342,223
Inventories141,51982,992
Total current assets678,113476,686
LONG-TERM ASSETS:
Marketable securities74,256103,120
Property, plant and equipment, net119,32951,182
Deferred tax assets, net14,6988,340
Intangible assets, net38,5041,115
Goodwill34,874
Other non-current assets4,698862
Total long term assets286,359164,619
 
Total assets$964,472$641,305
CURRENT LIABILITIES:
Trade payables, net$107,079$69,488
Employees and payroll accruals29,05322,544
Current maturities of bank loans16,639
Warranty obligations28,86814,785
Deferred revenues14,3512,559
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities29,72820,378
Total current liabilities225,718129,754
LONG-TERM LIABILITIES:
Bank loans3,510
Warranty obligations92,95864,026
Deferred revenues60,67031,453
Deferred tax liabilities, net1,499
Other non-current liabilities9,39118,605
Total long-term liabilities168,028114,084
STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:
Share capital54
Additional paid-in capital371,794331,902
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(524)(611)
Retained earnings (accumulated deficit)191,13366,172
Total SolarEdge Technologies Inc. stockholders’ equity562,408397,467
Non-controlling interests8,318
Total stockholders’ equity570,726397,467
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$964,472$641,305
SOLAREDGE TECHNOLOGIES INC.CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS(In thousands)
Year ended December 31,
20182017
Cash flows provided by operating activities:
Net income$128,046$84,172
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment12,4417,011
Amortization of intangible assets1,193144
Amortization of premium and accretion of discount on available-for-sale marketable securities1,2412,061
Stock-based compensation30,61817,564
Capital loss from disposal of property445
Realized loss from sale of available-for-sale marketable securities137
Realized gain from cash flow hedge(31)(994)
Changes in assets and liabilities:
Inventories(21,194)(15,690)
Prepaid expenses and other assets(2,712)(20,943)
Trade receivables, net(60,514)(38,139)
Deferred tax assets and liabilities, net(7,092)(5,455)
Trade payables, net31,48235,455
Employees and payroll accruals4,5839,394
Warranty obligations41,87720,436
Deferred revenues37,04114,106
Accrued expenses, non-current tax liabilities and other liabilities(8,484)27,543
Net cash provided by operating activities189,077136,665
Cash flows from investing activities:
Business combinations, net of cash acquired(94,735)
Purchase of property, plant and equipment(38,608)(21,382)
Purchase of intangible assets
Investment in short term bank deposits(6,001)
Investment in available-for-sale marketable securities(142,627)(143,675)
Proceed from sales and maturities of available-for-sale marketable securities129,34580,269
Net cash used in investing activities$(152,626)$(84,788)
Cash flows from financing activities:
Repayment of bank loan(3,786)
Proceeds from issuance of shares under stock purchase plan and upon exercise of stock-based awards10,0217,240
Change in noncontrolling interests(14,190)
Net cash provided by financing activities(7,955)7,240
Increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash28,49659,117
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at the beginning of the period164,679105,580
Effect of exchange rate differences on cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash86(18)
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at the end of the period$193,261$164,679
SOLAREDGE TECHNOLOGIES INC.RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES(In thousands, except gross profit and per share data)(Unaudited)
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Gross Profit
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Gross profit (GAAP)79,71177,98270,970319,236214,766
Stock-based compensation1,3231,1277034,3422,251
Cost of product adjustment398208—-606—-
Intangible assets amortization—-193—-193—-
Gross profit (Non-GAAP)81,43279,51071,673324,377217,017
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Gross Margin
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Gross margin (GAAP)30.2%33.0%37.5%34.1%35.4%
Stock-based compensation0.5%0.4%0.4%0.4%0.3%
Cost of product adjustment0.2%0.1%0.0%0.1%0.0%
Intangible assets amortization0.0%0.1%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Gross margin (Non-GAAP)30.9%33.6%37.9%34.6%35.7%
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Operating expenses
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Operating expenses (GAAP)55,32243,94536,399179,381123,680
Stock-based compensation R&D(3,230)(2,988)(1,795)(11,205)(5,703)
Stock-based compensation S&M(2,564)(2,250)(1,714)(9,112)(5,387)
Stock-based compensation G&A(1,574)(1,585)(1,170)(5,959)(4,224)
Intangible assets amortization – R&D(652)(110)—-(762)—-
Intangible assets amortization – S&M(101)(29)—-(130)—-
Acquisition related expenses(2,140)—-—-(2,140)—-
Operating expenses (Non-GAAP)45,06136,98331,720150,073108,366
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Operating income
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Operating income (GAAP)24,38934,03734,571139,85591,086
Cost of product adjustment398208—-606—-
Stock-based compensation8,6917,9505,38230,61817,565
Intangible assets amortization753332—-1,085—-
Acquisition related expenses2,140—-—-2,140—-
Operating income (Non-GAAP)36,37142,52739,953174,304108,651
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Financial expenses (income), net
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Financial expenses (income), net (GAAP)(288)689(1,487)2,297(9,158)
Non cash interest(769)(640)—-(2,489)—-
Intangible assets amortization528—-—-528—-
Financial expenses (income), net (Non-GAAP)(529)49(1,487)336(9,158)
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Other expenses
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Other expenses (GAAP)435—-—-435—-
Fixed assets disposal(435)—-—-(435)—-
Other expenses (income) (Non-GAAP)—-—-—-—-—-
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Tax on income (Tax benefit)
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Tax on income (Tax benefit) (GAAP)12,093(12,295)16,5569,07716,072
Deferred tax asset2,3041,7712,3927,0935,456
Transition tax of foreign earnings(8,189)10,305(18,735)1,296(18,735)
Tax on income (Tax benefit) (Non-GAAP)6,208(219)21317,4662,793
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Net income attributable to SolarEdge Technologies Inc.
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Net income attributable to SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (GAAP)12,93645,64319,502128,83384,172
Cost of product adjustment398208—-606—-
Stock-based compensation8,6917,9505,38230,61817,565
Intangible assets amortization225332—-557—-
Acquisition related expenses2,140—-—-2,140—-
Non cash interest769640—-2,489—-
Fixed Assets disposal435—-—-435—-
Deferred tax asset(2,304)(1,771)(2,392)(7,093)(5,456)
Transition tax of foreign earnings8,189(10,305)18,735(1,296)18,735
Net income attributable to SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (Non-GAAP)31,47942,69741,227157,289115,016
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Net basic EPS
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Net basic earnings per share (GAAP)0.281.000.452.851.99
Cost of product adjustment0.010.01—-0.01—-
Stock-based compensation0.190.170.120.680.42
Intangible assets amortization0.010.01—-0.01—-
Acquisition related expenses0.04—-—-0.05—-
Non cash interest0.020.02—-0.05—-
Fixed Assets disposal0.01—-—-0.01—-
Deferred tax asset(0.05)(0.039)(0.05)(0.15)(0.13)
Transition tax of foreign earnings0.18(0.226)0.43(0.03)0.44
Net basic earnings per share (Non-GAAP)0.690.940.953.482.72
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Net diluted EPS
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Net diluted earnings per share (GAAP)0.270.950.422.691.85
Cost of product adjustment0.01—-—-0.01—-
Stock-based compensation0.160.130.100.530.30
Intangible assets amortization0.010.01—-0.01—-
Acquisition related expenses0.04—-—-0.04—-
Non cash interest0.010.01—-0.05—-
Fixed Assets disposal0.01—-—-0.01—-
Deferred tax asset(0.04)(0.03)(0.05)(0.14)(0.12)
Transition tax of foreign earnings0.16(0.21)0.38(0.03)0.40
Net diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)0.630.860.853.172.43
Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP No. of shares used in Net diluted EPS
Three months ended12 months ended
December 31, 2018September 30, 2018December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2017
Number of shares used in computing net diluted earnings per share (GAAP)47,637,47848,281,24046,876,32847,980,00245,425,307
Stock-based compensation2,204,1791,463,6331,375,5271,636,1271,907,423
Number of shares used in computing net diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)49,841,65749,744,87348,251,85549,616,12947,332,730

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190220005882/en/

Source: SolarEdge Technologies, Inc.

Investor Contacts

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc.
Ronen Faier, Chief Financial Officer
+1 510-498-3263
investors@solaredge.com

Sapphire Investor Relations, LLC
Erica Mannion or Michael Funari
+1 617-542-6180
investors@solaredge.com

Energy Stuff provides a full range of new smart solar systems which can include battery ready inverters or systems with integrated battery storage. All our systems come with smart energy management to provide real time monitoring and energy efficiencies. Finance can be arranged for as little as $2.96 a day. For further information call 1300 656 205 or go to our website at

https://ongrid.energystuff.com.au/

Living off-the-grid – the realities

Written by Daniel Pedersen / The Land / 29 May 2018

WHEN Jeff and Marg Foster took on the 160-hectare “Bendee” outside of Bingara in 2011 it was a no-brainer when it came to operating independent of the national energy grid.

It was going to cost $100,000 to connect to the grid, what with the costs of poles, wires and contractors, compared with $55,000 for a stand-alone solar system.

“We basically had three options, spend the money to connect to the grid, a big diesel generator or solar,” said Mr Foster.

“Our trouble was that it’s expensive to get on the grid, and it’s not like you then get the electricity for free,” he said, “it’s still got to be paid for”.

A few quick calculations and Mr Foster reckoned on today’s retail electricity rates he’d be paying about $7.20 a day or between $2500 and $2700 annually for power.

“And that’s a small use rate, if you’re running pumps to water stock you could quite feasibly double that,” he said. The power unit on “Bendee” runs the household and a significant workshed, which includes a welder, a bench grinder and the usual selection of power tools.

We basically had three options, spend the money to connect to the grid, a big diesel generator or solar.– Jeff Foster

Mrs and Mrs Foster have been running off grid for seven years now and are extremely happy with the system.

Mr Foster has never once been on the roof to maintain the solar panels. They do have to be careful not to overload the system, for instance running the welder and the kettle at the same time, which both draw large amounts of power instantaneously.

He said off-grid was certainly being pushed as the way to go, but added, as was often the case, there was a dark side to the equation.

“For people who can’t afford standalone power, or are limited by their rooftop – say they live in a block of 80 units in Sydney – mains power is going to become more expensive,” said Mr Foster.

“The more people who go to standalone power will mean the costs of maintaining the grid will be borne by fewer people.

“If 20 per cent of customers dropped off-the-grid tomorrow, costs could double for the remainder.”

He said there would probably come a time when all roofing was photo-voltaic.

Marg laughs when she talks about how little some people know solar. “We still get people asking us: ‘Yes, but what do you do of a night-time?”’

 

Energy Stuff Off Grid specialises in off-grid systems for homes, farms, batches and sheds. We sell a range of DIY battery systems right through to fully customised systems for houses, farms and small businesses. We have a specialist team that works in this area with over 5-years’ experience. Call us on 1300 656 205 or visit our website https://offgrid.energystuff.com.au/  

Making Off-Grid Living Easy

CUSTOM DESIGN, LOCALLY INSTALLED
We have the right end-to-end solutions. Off-Grid Energy Stuff is proud to work with CEC Accredited Off-the-Grid specialists across Australia for all of our installations. By using local installers we can also provide ongoing service and backup to ensure your system is maintained and quickly put back into service if you ever have a fault.

BEAT EXPENSIVE GRID CONNECTION CHARGES
If you live in a remote location and are moving into an existing house, adding a removable house or building a new house, then off-grid solar systems can be cheaper than paying large setup costs connecting to the grid. So, if you don’t have access to the national grid for electricity, our range of high quality off-grid solar systems are the perfect option as a complete stand-alone power system.

Experts in complete off-grid solar system packages & off-the-grid power solutions. We are the largest provider of off-grid solar systems for Australians looking for stand alone solar energy, no matter where you live we can help with our Australia-wide delivery and complete off-grid solar and battery installation service. If you live in a remote location and are moving into an existing house, adding a removable house or building a new house, then off-grid solar systems can be cheaper than paying large setup costs connecting to the grid. We have portable kits and we can customise systems to suit all needs.

The Importance of Testimonials for Energy Stuff Off-Grid

The Importance of Testimonials

Selecting your Off-Grid Solar Provider can be slightly daunting. Testimonials are an extremely important part of the success of our business. We are focused on not a sale, but razor focused on our customers being part of a long term relationship and journey. Every Energy Stuff customer is sent an anonymous survey after each install. We are serious about gathering the true picture of how our customer service team, design team and installation team went during our customers journey to lower energy bills or true energy independence. Living off-the-grid and being in remote locations, provides additional challenges for the Off Grid Energy Australia team. Items such as transport, install team availability and schedules, not even mentioning the weather and home builders temperaments, all throw potentially project delaying elements into even the best of project plans. Having an all in “team approach” and the passion for exceptional customer service, help us grow our business by way of solid word of mouth referrals.


Here is what Peter noted in his feedback form;

The whole process from start to finish has been painless. Goran did an excellent job designing the system and walking me through what would be the need and any pitfalls. Richard who managed the project did an excellent job of sorting out the minor hiccup on the delivery of the first set of solar panels that went astray, I enjoyed dealing with him. He “always answered his mobile” and was ready to sort any problems, he was also very patient when things didn’t go, according to plan, I was very impressed.

The installer was professional and did an excellent job on the installation, including walking me through all the bits and pieces.

Overall, I feel I made a great choice in choosing Energy Stuff as my Off-Grid Solar Provider, and would not hesitate in recommending them to other people who are looking at going down this path.

Great job guys, many thanks, a truly Professional Company.

Peter – Victoria


Description.

Complete Off-Grid system with the latest proven lithium battery technology from BYD and German SMA inverters.

These AC coupled systems are very efficient for powering higher loads during the day such as air-conditioning, pool pumps, washing machine, dryer, heat pumps etc.

When correct sized you can during daytime live a normal life like you are connected to the grid and the large capacity from the two inverters allows more simultaneously use of appliances.

Upgradable in the future if required.

Peter’s Off-Grid system:

3.3kW Tier 1 solar panels from Jinko

SMA Sunny Boy 5kW panel inverter/solar regulator

SMA Sunny Boy 4.4kW Off-Grid/Battery inverter

7.5kWh BYD B-Box LV modules

Back-up generator connected to the system

If your considering going off the grid, or planning to build in a remote location, please down load our free “Guide to Off grid Living ” now.


 

Our Locations

Our Head Office & Warehouse is located at 25A Lobelia Drive, Altona North VIC 3025 and our Off-Grid team are located at 14-20 Aerodrome Rd, Maroochydore QLD 4558. All our installation crews across Australia are ready to check your warranty, support, inspect, check and upgrade your existing or faulty equipment.

Call 1300 656 205.

Ambitious energy efficiency targets needed

Posted by EcoGeneration / 23 January 2019 

Victoria’s opportunity

We’ve put the challenge to the Victorian Government to continue to strengthen its energy savings  scheme by converting from an emissions reduction target to a percentage of electricity and gas sales from 2021 with a progressive increase to 10% of electricity and gas consumption by 2030.

This would be an increase from the current 2020 target of 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions avoided which is estimated to equate to approximately 6.2% of electricity and gas consumption.

The Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program is the most significant policy driver for energy efficiency in Victoria. A review to determine VEU targets to be set from 2021-2025 commenced on October 15, 2018, with a target scheduled to be announced in March 2020 by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Energy Savings Industry Association (ESIA) has requested that the announcement date be brought forward to Sept 2019 to allow time for industry to transition so momentum of energy upgrades can be maintained.

Conversion of the target from greenhouse gas emissions to an energy metric is recommended as:

  • emissions intensity of electricity consumption can vary considerably from year to year and can be dependent upon the levels of imports and exports from other jurisdictions. This makes planning for new investment more difficult.
  • consumers will be able to more easily relate upgrades to saving energy and lowering energy bills.

The ESIA recommends that megawatt hours (MWh) be used as the metric as it is more commonly used and readily understood by stakeholders than gigajoules (GJ).

The 10% target recommended by the ESIA is based upon increasing the target at the same rate during the 2021 to 2030 period as for the 2016 to 2020 period and using facts and assumptions provided in Table 1.

To date, the VEU has been tracking well ahead of targets for 2016 to 2020, which is a positive indication for continuing the target increase trajectory. The ESIA advocates that this is readily achievable given the other measures and changes that we have recommended to improve the operation of the scheme.

The VEU target for 2020 of 6.5 million tonnes CO2-e converted to 5,936GWh is equivalent to 6.2% of total energy consumption. It is assumed that this amount would increase on a linear basis to arrive at 10% of total energy consumption by 2030. Actual energy consumption will be lower than baseline energy consumption due to activities installed under the VEU.

Proposed VEU target: 10% by 2030 – trajectory in GWh equiv. The target would increase from 4,932 GWh in 2016 to 8,821 GWh in 2030, the latter factoring in a reduction in baseline energy consumption as explained above.

Post code analysis of upgrades

The ESIA commissioned analysis of the level of uptake of various types of energy-savings upgrades directly attributable to the VEU since its inception in 2009 to 31 December 2017. It was determined using very conservative parameters that on average 1.5 upgrades per dwelling have occurred across the state.

Uptake averages have been comparable between metropolitan and regional areas, with slightly higher uptake in areas with average lower incomes in comparison to higher average income postcodes.

It could be assumed that lower-than-average uptake in various inner-city areas could be due to barriers such as rental properties (tenants don’t tend to do upgrades) and older

housing stock. Whereas a slight increase in outer suburbs could be due to significantly more opportunity for upgrades of larger homes with for example, many more downlights and other appliances due to larger land and building sizes.

Key high efficiency upgrade types have included:

  • for businesses: commercial lighting, refrigeration display cabinets and fan motor upgrades; and
  • for households: high efficiency pool pumps, lighting, destruction of pre-1996 fridges and freezers and upgrades, clothes dryers and televisions.

While statistics from the Victorian Government and separately from the ESIA estimate average annual bill savings of a participating household to be around $150-175, households that have undertaken multiple upgrades will be saving much more. For example, according to ESIA research: per year a pool pump upgrade can save $225, a high efficiency clothes dryer $110, removing a pre-1996 fridge of freezer $125, upgrading lighting $160 and a television could save $27.

NSW ambition

The NSW Government has a 16,000GWh energy savings target to 2020 which overarches its Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) that has its own annual targets which are currently 8.5% of electricity sales from 2019-2025. The 16,000GWh energy savings target includes a suite of measures including NSW Climate Change Fund programs, the ESS, building standards and initiatives and Commonwealth programs.

This illustration of the NSW approach shows at a glance the suite of energy-saving initiatives being measured in that state. In this scenario published in 2016, the ESS would be the third largest contributor by 2020. Current actual figures may reflect that the ESS is delivering a larger portion of actual energy savings, given that the scheme has exceeded its target comfortably by 10 to 15% since 2017, based on analysis by Green Energy Markets to the end of November 2018.

The latest ESS Annual Report for 2017 published in 2018 by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) stated that since the ESS commenced in July 2009, a total of 23,776,877 certificates that have been created for activities implemented under the scheme represent 22,363,865MWh of electricity savings and 176,780 MWh of gas savings.

In 2015, the NSW Government strengthened its ESS by: expanding the program to include gas savings; supporting energy savings made by regional customers; and extending the scheme to 2025 and increasing the targets incrementally from 5% in 2015 to 7% in 2016, 8% in 2018 and 8.5 % from 2019-2025.

Nationwide opportunities

The ESIA continues to advocate for a National Energy Savings Scheme (NESS) by 2025 which would complement existing schemes in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory and any others that may be established in the meantime.

A NESS could provide incentives for upgrade activity types that may not be available through various existing schemes, and would enable all households and businesses across Australia to participate, which is obviously currently not possible at the moment for Queenslanders, West Australians, Northern Territorians and Tasmanians.

There is an opportunity to further adapt the Commonwealth Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) to enable more energy efficiency projects to be implemented through that mechanism, using methodologies proven in the existing energy savings schemes. However, the ERF is reliant upon the provision of funds for projects (and most of that has been committed), whereas a NESS would have no net cost to government.

There is already a lot of work going on in the background between the various governments and industry to ‘harmonise’ these schemes. For example, both SA and the ACT use the approved product registry established by NSW, and methodologies for calculating energy savings of particular types of energy upgrade are periodically being adjusted and shared for consideration between scheme administrators in each jurisdiction. This harmonising process continually sharpens the opportunity for industry to innovate more efficient products that can be marketed across Australia, and for governments to reduce ‘ red tape’ which can stymy roll outs unnecessarily.

Case Studies – Energy Upgrades

A greater scale of innovation, job creation and skill-building can be stimulated in the energy savings industry in Australia in lighting, air conditioning and insulation technologies to name a few. Commercial building management system upgrades can revolutionise building efficiency ratings (like NABERS) and industry boilers, gas burners and electric motors present major energy-saving opportunities. An energy efficiency upgrade is the logical leading partner of any renewable energy upgrade.

Hamish McGovern is the president of ESIA and managing director of Wattly. With thanks to ESIA members for contributions to this article.


Energy Stuff specialises in Residential Solar with emphasis on Repairs, Replacements and upgrades. We also provide new systems, battery storage, Off-Grid systems and smart monitoring systems so call us if we can be of support 1300 656 205 or go to our website at http://www.energystuff.com.au

Victoria solar rebate notches up nearly 7,000 new rooftop systems

By Sophie Vorrath / One Step Off The Grid / 22 January 2019

Victorian households are cashing on the state government’s solar homes rebate by the thousands, with latest reports indicating nearly 7, rooftop PV systems have been installed under the $1.2 billion scheme since its launched in late August last year.

State energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Friday that around 1,600 households had already received a rebate for their rooftop solar systems, with many more installations underway.

Hotspots in the state include the outer western Melbourne suburb of Tarneit, where a whopping 212 systems are being installed,  followed by Clyde North (161), Craigieburn (131), Truganina (123) and Cranbourne East (98).

As we have the reported, the hugely popular policy provides up to $2,225 towards the installation of solar panels – roughly half the cost of a 4kW PV system.

From July this year, the other half of that cost will be able to be covered with a four-year interest-free loan, but only households who buy solar panels before July will be eligible for the rebate, too.

The subsidy’s popularity bodes well for the separate home battery subsidy, which was announced in September of last year, just weeks before the Andrews government secured another term with a crushing victory at the state poll.

Under that scheme, the government will provide $40 million for subsidies for up to 10,000 homes, based on the size of the battery. Some households will get up to $4,838.

“We promised to put power back in the hands of Victorians and that’s exactly what we’re doing – helping people take control of their energy costs and make a real difference to the state’s long-term energy future.”

“Our Solar Homes program has already proved to be tremendously popular and is helping Victorians to save hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills.”

“We’re also expanding the Solar Homes to include rental properties, hot water systems and battery installations – giving Victorians a fair go and helping the environment.”


Energy Stuff provides a full range of new solar systems which can include battery ready inverters or systems with integrated battery storage. We also provide smart energy management systems which will continue to deliver energy saving benefits into the future. We only use CEC accredited installers and we fully comply with the Victorian Govt. Solar Rebate Program. Finance can be arranged for as little as $2.96 a day. For further information call 1300 656 205 or go to our website at https://offgrid.energystuff.com.au/new-solar-system/

 

Victorian Registered Electrical Contractor Licence # 27787

City of Melbourne hits 100% renewables as 80MW wind farm comes online

By Sophie Vorrath / One Step Off The Grid / 18 January 2019 

The City of Melbourne has set a high bar for governments around the country, kicking off 2019 with the news that 100 per cent of the its operations are now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy – an Australian first.

“We are immensely proud to be the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 per cent renewable energy,” said Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood in a statement.

“Every light on our streets, every treadmill in our gyms and every barbecue in our parks is now powered by renewable energy,”

Image: Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne Arron Wood. Source: Twitter

The council’s success was driven by the Melbourne-led bulk buy renewables project, built around a consortium of 14 of leading local universities, cultural institutions, corporations and Councils.

The ground-breaking Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP) paved the way for development of Pacific Hydro’s 80MW Crowlands Wind Farm, near Ararat.

The project was underpinned by a unique group purchasing model that contracts the 14 consortium members to buy a total of 88GWh, or one-third of the assumed output of the wind farm, at an undisclosed price.

The MREP partners include the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Federation Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, Moreland City Council, Bank Australia, Zoos Victoria, Citywide, National Australia Bank, Australia Post, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and NEXTDC.

Construction began on Crowlands in May of last year, and this week, according to Wood, was nearing completion, with 25 of the 39 turbines fully installed and energy flowing into the power grid.

That progress has in turn taken the City to 100% renewables, topping up previous efforts in energy efficiency and rooftop solar installs.

“Making the move to 100 per cent renewable energy is the ultimate New Year’s resolution,” Wood said.

“We were also the first group in this country to implement a renewable energy power purchasing agreement.

“We have led the nation in responding to climate change, securing a sustainable energy supply for the future and have shown a great example of how a major city with a $92 billion economy can influence positive outcomes in our regional towns.”

Wood said that construction of the Crowlands wind farm – which had created more than 140 regional jobs, and eight ongoing maintenance jobs – was ongoing and on target to be fully completed in May.

And there are more plans for MREP, too.

“Leading by example, we will expand the ground-breaking project to facilitate power purchase agreements for businesses across the city,” Wood said.

“This will continue to generate investment in new renewable energy which is the cheapest cost for new build electricity generation. So it’s good for the environment, great for the economy with new jobs and really good for the hip pocket to manage energy costs into the future.”


Energy Stuff provides a full range of new solar systems which can include battery ready inverters or systems with integrated battery storage. We also provide smart energy management systems which will continue to deliver energy saving benefits into the future. We only use CEC accredited installers and we fully comply with the Victorian Govt. Solar Rebate Program. Finance can be arranged for as little as $2.96 a day. For further information call 1300 656 205 or go to our website at https://offgrid.energystuff.com.au/new-solar-system/

 

Victorian Registered Electrical Contractor Licence # 27787

SolarEdge teams with Google to integrate automated EV Charging

By Joshua S Hill / RenewEconomy / 14 January 2019

Israeli-based solar manufacturer SolarEdge announced last week that it was teaming up with Google to integrate Google Assistant into its own electric-vehicle charging solar inverter, only days after it announced the acquisition of Italian e-mobility company S.M.R.E Spa.

Announced during the mammoth Consumer Electronic Show (CES) held at the Las Vegas Convention Center last week, integrating Google Assistant into SolarEdge’s EV-charging solar inverter – the first of its kind – means that consumers can now tell their Google Assistant to start and stop charging of their electric vehicle.

The news came as Google announced a whole range of new devices that their Assistant now works with, and also includes eMotorWerks’ home EV charging station, the JuiceBox Level 2 (in addition to irrigation services, new devices and appliances, and McAfee’s Secure Home Platform).

“Smart homes have mainly been about convenience and interconnectivity, but the next step of the smart home is integrating smart energy management, such as EV charging,” said Lior Handelsman, SolarEdge’s Founder and VP of Marketing and Product Strategy.

“By merging the simplicity of smart homes with the value of smart energy through this collaboration with Google, SolarEdge is leading the way in making the power of smart solar energy more accessible to more people”

SolarEdge is the first company to introduce an electric-vehicle charging inverter which enables consumers to directly charge their electric vehicles with electricity generated by their rooftop solar panels.

The EV charging inverter also allows customers to charge their vehicles up to 2.5 times faster than a standard EV charger through a simultaneous combination of grid and PV electricity.

The news came two days after SolarEdge announced that it was entering the e-mobility market with its acquisition of S.M.R.E Spa (SMRE), an Italian company boasting three business units – e-mobility, automated production machine, and telematics software.

SMRE was formed in 1999 and has over 15 years of experience developing end-to-end e-mobility solutions – such as high-performance powertrains with e-mobtor, motor drive, gearbox, battery, BMS, chargers, Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) and software for electric vehicles – for electric and hybrid vehicles such as motorcycles, commercial vehicles, and trucks.

SolarEdge will purchase acquire 51 per cent of the company by acquiring outstanding shares currently held by the founder and two additional stockholders for a investment totalling around $77 million – with half to be paid in cash and the other half to be paid in shares of SolarEdge common stock – with the transaction to be closed in the coming weeks.

This will be followed by a mandatory tender offer in which SolarEdge will offer to purchase the remaining outstanding SMRE shares in an all cash transation.

The acquisition by SolarEdge makes sense considering that, with governments and automotive manufacturers around the world committing themselves to the electrification of transportation, the electric vehicle industry is expected increase from around 1 million electric vehicles in 2018 to around 20 million being produced and bought each year in 2030.

“The acquisition of SMRE is another step in executing our strategy of sustainable growth by addressing an additional fast growing and technologically synergetic market while diversifying into new fields outside the solar arena,” explained Guy Sella, CEO, Chairman and Founder of SolarEdge.

“SMRE’s innovative technology and experienced, successful team provides SolarEdge with fast-track access to the high-growth e-mobility market. We believe that combining SMRE’s vast experience and full powertrain technology with SolarEdge’s innovative power and battery technology, proven operational excellence and global reach, positions us to become a market leader in this important market.”

“SMRE built a strong team that has developed products addressing the current and future needs of the e-mobility market,” added Samuele Mazzini, CEO, Chairman and Founder of SMRE.

“SMRE’s expertise together with SolarEdge’s successful business track record, R&D capabilities and innovative power electronics will favorably position us in the global transition to e-mobility.”


Energy Stuff provides a full range of new solar systems which can include battery ready inverters or systems with integrated battery storage. We also provide smart energy management systems which will continue to deliver energy saving benefits into the future. We only use CEC accredited installers and we fully comply with the Victorian Govt. Solar Rebate Program. Finance can be arranged for as little as $2.96 a day. For further information call 1300 656 205 or go to our website at https://offgrid.energystuff.com.au/new-solar-system/

 

Victorian Registered Electrical Contractor Licence # 27787

Waste crisis looms as thousands of solar panels reach end of life

Main image: Australians have embraced the rooftop solar revolution, but critics say governments are lagging on managing the waste. CREDIT: JUSTIN MCMANUS

By Nicole Hasham / The Sydney Morning Herald / 13 January 2019

Thousands of ageing rooftop solar panels represent a toxic time-bomb and major economic waste unless Australia acts swiftly to keep them out of landfill, conservationists and recyclers say.

Australia’s enthusiastic embrace of rooftop solar has brought clear environmental and economic benefits, but critics say governments have dragged their feet in addressing the looming waste crisis.

As of December more than 2 million Australian households had rooftop solar installed. The uptake continues to grow due to the technology’s falling cost and rising electricity bills.

Photovoltaic panels last about 30 years, and those installed at the turn of the millennium are nearing the end of their lives. Many have already been retired due to faults or damage during transport and installation.

The nation’s environment ministers in April last year agreed to fast-track the development of new product stewardship schemes for photovoltaic solar panels and associated batteries. Such schemes make producers and retailers take responsibility for an item across its life cycle.

However, Total Environment Centre director Jeff Angel, a former federal government adviser on product stewardship, said action was long overdue and the delay reveals a “fundamental weakness” in Australia’s waste policies.

“We’ve had a solar panel industry for years which is an important environmental initiative, and it should have been incumbent on government to act in concert with the growth of the industry so we have an environmentally responsible end-of-life strategy,” he said.

Mr Angel said photovoltaic panels contain hazardous substances and “when we are sending hundreds of thousands of e-waste items to landfill we are also creating a pollution problem”.

“It’s a systemic problem that [applies to] a whole range of products”, he said, saying schemes were badly needed for paint, batteries, floor coverings, commercial furniture and many types of electronic waste.

Photovoltaic panels are predominantly made from glass, polymer and aluminium, but may also contain potentially hazardous materials such as lead, copper and zinc.

Australian Council of Recycling chief executive Peter Schmigel attributed delays in product stewardship schemes to both “bureaucratic malaise” and unfounded concern about cost.

The national television and computer recycling scheme, which since 2011 has required manufacturers and importers to participate in industry-funded collection and recycling, showed that regulatory measures can work, he said.

“Recovery rates have been out of sight since the beginning of the scheme, nobody has said anything at all about there being an inbuilt recycling cost. It generates jobs, it generates environmental outcomes and yet for some reason we have policymakers who are hesitant about [establishing similar schemes] for solar PVs and batteries,” he said.

Victoria will ban electronic waste in landfill from July 2019, including all parts of a photovoltaic system, mirroring schemes imposed in Europe.

The Australian Council of Recycling says a national program to recycle computers and televisions has been successful and solar panels and batteries should be subject to similar schemes. CREDIT: DOMINIC O’BRIEN

Sustainability Victoria is also leading a project examining end-of-life management options for photovoltaic systems, which may progress to a national program. The issue is particularly pertinent in Victoria where a new $1.3 billion program is expected to install solar power on 700,000 homes.

Sustainability Victoria resource recovery director Matt Genever said there was strong support from industry, government and consumers for a national approach to photovoltaic product stewardship. Final options are due to be presented to environment ministers in mid-2019.

He rejected suggestions that plans were progressing too slowly.

“The analysis we’ve done in Victoria … shows that it’s in 2025 that we see a real ramp up in the waste being generated out of photovoltaic panels. I certainly don’t think we’ve missed the boat,” he said.

Solar panel components waiting for recycling at a Reclaim PV warehouse.

A report by the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency in 2016 found that recoverable materials from photovoltaic panel waste had a potential value of nearly $US15 billion by 2050.

Reclaim PV director Clive Fleming, whose business is believed to be the only dedicated photovoltaic recycler in Australia, said it recycles 90 per cent of materials in a panel. The company has been lobbying for state bans on solar panels entering the landfill.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority said it has commissioned research to better understand how e-waste, including solar panels, was managed. The panels can be dumped in NSW landfill, however given their life span they were “not a common item in the waste stream”, it said.

The Queensland government is developing an end-of-life scheme for batteries used in solar systems and other appliances.

A federal review of the Product Stewardship Act was expected to be completed last year, but the Department of the Environment and Energy is yet to present a report to the government.

Mr Genever hoped the review would result in a broader range of products being subject to stewardship programs and take steps to ensure voluntary schemes were effective.

Both the Smart Energy Council and the Clean Energy Council, which represent solar industry operators, said a well-designed product stewardship scheme was important and should be developed through cooperation between industry, governments and recyclers.


Energy Stuff provides a full range of new solar systems which can include battery ready inverters or systems with integrated battery storage. We also provide smart energy management systems which will continue to deliver energy saving benefits into the future. We only use CEC accredited installers and we fully comply with the Victorian Govt. Solar Rebate Program. Finance can be arranged for as little as $2.96 a day. For further information call 1300 656 205 or go to our website at https://offgrid.energystuff.com.au/new-solar-system/

 

Victorian Registered Electrical Contractor Licence # 27787