Claire O'Rourke reports at ABC Environment (5/3/15):
"While the cost savings for solar homeowners are clear, what is less widely known is how someone else making the choice to install solar panels reduces everyone's power bill.
"Here's how it works. The price we pay for our electricity is figured out in the Australian energy market using the 'merit order system'.
"The system asks energy generators to bid to sell their energy on the market. The market operator then starts buying up energy starting at the lowest price and working up to more expensive bids until it has met everyone's demands at a particular time.
"Solar households, meanwhile, use the energy produced on their rooftop, reducing the demand at the point of consumption, especially during daylight hours on sunny days when demand for energy tends to peak.
"This has the same effect of 'cancelling out' some of the more expensive bids in the energy system, making all energy prices cheaper even if your household doesn't have solar panels installed.
"Governments who care about rising power prices should really invest in household solar power and speed up cost savings across the network for all energy users.
"They should be supporting good policy like the Renewable Energy Target (RET) that helps the community to install more solar, not less. The Target currently stands at 41,000GWh by 2020, but is subject to review. We know cutting the Target will increase the cost of rooftop solar by up to 50 per cent, putting it out of reach of ordinary Australian households."
Read the full article: http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2015/03/05/4191229.htm
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