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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26 comments

  1. That woman at 3.23 hits the nail on the head precisely … Australian consumers care a lot about price and little about quality … and we are renowned for it. Don't buy from China they say…but wont pay for German made…

  2. It truly amazes me that after solar has been around for 20 years, that only 20% of Australians have it installed. Especially as we pay amongst the highest for electricity in the world, or in SA where I'm from, about 'The' most expensive in the world. Irrespective of the system size they end up paying for themselves, it's a real no brainer to me. I've just had a older 14 year old 1.9w system that saved some money, to a new 13.3kw , larger one with battery that will almost result in no power bill, even in winter ..

  3. My issue is that power companies are fighting the solar industry because it affects their bottom line. As soon as I installed solar which is still currently being heavily encouraged by the government the power company increased my per kilowatt price by a huge amount so they don't owe my money. I have consistently produced a surcharge and haven't been paid a cent. Why is the government pushing solar so hard when the power companies are so obviously pushing back? What's the government agenda? The power companies don't want to loose money and will not upgrade their infrastructure because its another cost they have to incure.

  4. Solar is no longer worth it. Don't do it. The feed in tariffs just
    dropped to 6.7 ( from 12 ) almost halved overnight! My system was going
    to take 4 years to pay for itself now that's looking like 8 years by
    witch time the panels will need replacing. You will not save one cent,
    it's a scam don't waste your time or money!! Same with solar hot water.

  5. Doesn't really tell any detail information. what brand failed the test? what brand failed in 2 years? how did it fail? in regards of fire, DC isolators are what failed not the solar panels.

  6. This is just a beat up by ABC
    I wouldn't believe anything that they tell you, they only show the bad side of the story.

  7. Typical greedy men in suits bringing in dodgy goods for Australia’s people ripping people off putting lives and homes at risk.

  8. I am a Dutch certified solar panel technician my dream is to work in Australia as solar panel installer. Is there any work for me in Australia?

  9. I sent an email to consumer affairs about solar panels being sold as less wattage that they advertise , they replied not our problem take it up with the seller, we don’t test solar panels.

  10. I take no confidence that the CEO of the Clean Energy Council really has the consumer’s best interest at heart.

  11. There are certainly favorable aspects of renewable energy, and this isn’t a black-and-white calculation, no matter how much leftists tell us this is a “moral” choice. Not to put too fine a point on it, however, given the reality of the laws of physics, the day the world’s energy needs are fully met by wind and solar is the day pigs will fly.

  12. As for batteries, bargain priced lead acid is what I would choose at the moment. Lithium batteries ignite in sparks when failed and are much more of a fire risk than lead. Waiting on some brave company to produce cheap battery storage. Probably short term capacitor storage banks are the best, but not likely to see any support from the "controllers"

  13. So find a way to recycle them better. While this is a problem, it has a solution, it just needs to be solved. Also need to stop this whole "low quality and cheap" trend and move to higher quality non-china manufacturing like the good old days.

  14. The dark side of PV is the enormous pre and post use pollution.
    The pollutants are extremely toxic, of the order of nuclear waste.
    Free energy from nature, the Soviet's catch cry with so many sources, including the Gulag system, is simply a mirage of untruth which naive folk get told is truth, so many times, that they believe it.

  15. Markus Lambert is spot on. If a cheap system fails before it's even paid off the carbon cost associated with manufacture, then the company that made it should have to re-pay the tax-payer funded subsidy.

    Tax payers can't be expected to help fund throw-away crap.

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