The dark side of Australia's rooftop solar energy obsession | 7.30



Rooftop solar is considered one of Australia’s renewable energy success stories.

But an audit of the clean energy regulator has found there are potentially tens of thousands of badly installed and even unsafe systems on rooftops.

Some experts even believe Australia has become a dumping ground for poor quality solar products.

Liz Hobday takes a look at the big picture, including how effectively, or otherwise, solar is helping Australia meet its clean energy targets.

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29 comments

  1. Grid connected Solar is in my opinion a scam to have consumers supply power to the grid but get little in return. Worse still is when the GRID GOES DOWN you have NO access to the power your panels are producing, so despite you having more than enough power to keep your fridge & freezer running during daylight hours, your food spoils for lack of power.

  2. Greedy capitalist mass producing inferior falsely advertised products at low prices. The free market has always had producers that operated this way. Some of the biggest companies in the world amassed their wealth before the market was regulated.

    Solution – State funded research & development to produce the most efficient, durable, reliable cost effective solar panel in the world. Then set that as the minimum standard for solar panels in Australia. Than produce and sell them to Australians and the world as well as create a solar panel recycling and clean disposal facility. Then sign contracts with other countries to receive their old panels.

  3. This clip once again high lights the old adage of what you pay is what you get. No $30K car is going to last longer than a $300K unit. In less than 20 years most peoples power bills will be greater than a mortgage – 100% certainty. All National Grids will be Privately Owned , All PV systems by Law must be Hooked into the Grid. The supply charge has gone from cents per day to over $1 a day in the last few years. This Fee is not controlled by any known legislation.
    If these Energy Pirates want to Charge $20 a day there is nothing you can do about it except disconnect.

  4. In actual fact there are now about 2 fires a week due to solar, the above video shows a bad installation with four rows of panels on four different pitches (angles), 2 should be on tilt legs to match the angle of the the row in front one dodgy install followed by another, water damage usually shows white patches, I could not see any evidence.

  5. Wtf! "The batteries have been used in cars for years." Shows what he knows. These are deep cycle batteries which are not used in cars other than for running a fridge or similar…

  6. Recently, a province in China, Qinghai Province, 5.6 million population .
    From June 9th to June 23rd 2019, there will be 15 consecutive days of full clean energy supply test, only photovoltaic, hydropower and wind energy. Previously, there have been records for 7 consecutive days and 9 days. It’s 15 days now.
    hope that all countries will not give up these technical cooperation that can change the world for political reasons , and hope that all human environments can become better.

  7. Stupid Australia dont have a system to stop import poor solar panel enter our land. Government rebate 2/3 cost to have people have solar on the roof. But poor panel is just help oversea jobs only and dumb rubbish solar material into Australia land. Mean government paid thousands of dollar for rubbish on each roof solar….why, why, ?

  8. I am glad that I did not succumb to the hyperbole , to instal solar panels. Instead I watch my electricity use and consumption, by ensuring unecessary lights are turned off.

  9. Lol this is such a stupid report. So we shouldn't have 240V at all if batteries can give us an electric shock? Gas should be shut off as well given that batteries set on fire?
    You know what's a real failure in Australia? The government on all levels. Fix our non-existent waste recycling system here. We look like complete morons separating our waste but then most of it goes off to landfill or is stored in warehouses until it is sold overseas.

  10. While individual batteries are relatively safe, when you combine them in stacks of thousands, you're exponentially more likely to get a catastrophic cascade failure.

  11. Ive benifited from this scourge. A friend of mine pulled off a bunch of panels for insurance concerns. Im using these panels in an offgrid situation. About 80% down in nameplate capacity, but still producing energy (for free). Batteries recycled, panels recycled.

    I think definitely, there are always charlatans. But far more good is being done. And if youve dodgy panels, DONT PUT THEM IN LANDFILL! Send em to me! Or anyone else who wants them. They can be used in less than ideal situations. Gumtree + removal = bottle of scotch. Winners all round.

  12. Australia mines the lithium (because it has the most), sells it to China, they sell it back as cheapo batteries, and our houses burn down. WTF

    Here's a thought. Australia should keep its high grade lithium (sell the crap), make our own expensive (and they will be) high-end batteries and flood the global market with the highest quality, safest, greenest, and best bang for buck lithium storage battery in town.

    It means a lot of re-tooling of existing infrastructure, complete roll-outs of new infrastructure, a total rethinking at the political level and truck loads of money. Australia is one of, if not the most prosperous nations on the globe…..yes we can….

  13. I am a tradesmen with Milwaukee cordless power tools (which are awesome tools 👍) but in saying that even those expensive tools have battery problems, the technology needs more research and improvements so it becomes flawless

  14. When audited 1 in 30 systems were rated as unsafe, well that's a fail. That's not saying the PV solar is a bad idea, it's just saying that the way that it is being done needs to be improved and possibly in some areas some additional checks should be done retroactively for safety's sake. This is not a hatchet job on solar, these are all legitimate concerns:
    – Occasional poor performance;
    – Some Cowboy installers;
    – No recycle scheme;
    – No verification of post installation performance for carbon credits;
    – Potential issues with respect to electrical and fire safety; …etc

    There are appropriate solutions to all of these issues that will make PV solar a more robust and safer energy source, so let's crack on and fix this. Pretending these issues don't exist or accusing me or ABC of being a fossil fuel schil, do nothing to advance this technology or protect Australian consumers who are plunking down larges sums on some of these systems and too often NOT getting what they and taxpayers are paying for.

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