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With big solar Australia could be backing a winner

Iain MacGill writes in The Conversation (14.9.15)

‘There is no doubt that large-scale solar is currently more expensive than wind and will struggle to compete in the RET without assistance. However, recent developments internationally … highlights the potential for further cost reductions. In this light, further support for large-scale solar PV in Australia to help get its costs down certainly seems to be targeting a major opportunity.

‘It is of course just one of numerous opportunities that PV offers here in Australia. Residential has further growth potential and there is also the still largely untapped commercial and industrial market sector. These also deserve support.

‘More generally, the federal government really needs to get over its problems with wind power. It’s a highly competitive renewable generation technology with some important advantages over solar PV including, of course, its ability to generate at night.

It has its own limitations as well, but both wind and PV have a key and, in many ways, complementary role to play in a clean energy future – a point that modelling by our group here at UNSW , as well as others, has highlighted. Government leadership – federal and state – is urgently needed and sorely lacking over recent years.’

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