East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet
wrote Rudyard Kipling in The Ballad of East and West, and most of us would agree. So it may come as some surprise that the economists at Australia’s Productivity Commission have tackled Kipling’s challenge. They have suggested that west should be the new north – at least when it comes to solar energy.
The Productivity Commission is the Australian government’s independent economic advisor. In October 2012 it released a draft report on electricity networks, which states:
… schemes to encourage renewable energy and emission reductions have resulted in the rapid growth of rooftop PV [photovoltaic] units. These schemes … encourage aggregate electricity generation … and have little regard for maximizing power output at times of peak demand… [page 454]
Rooftop PV units are also known as solar panels. The implication of this paragraph is that when you…
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