The University of Newcastle has just announced Printed Plastic Solar Panels could be as cheap as $10 per square meter! This is huge!
However, I’m guessing they’re cheap but inefficient. (I read this as a general comment on printed solar a while back, and have no information to this effect from Newcastle uni.)
That is, they’d probably require a lot more area to produce the same power. Probably too much space required to generate enough power for domestic users – especially as we all start getting electric cars. But what if rooftop space was not an issue? What if we could still ‘buy’ solar way out west in the desert or rural areas where land is super-cheap – or even float solar panels on Warragamba dam catchments or other reservoirs like it?
This is where I imagine an Energy Co-Op would shine! Renters or apartment owners in Strata Title who can’t put solar on their own rooftops could already choose to buy into an energy co-op like the “Solar Garden” below.
But imagine the co-op is buying super-cheap plastic printed solar.
Imagine they get more ambitious and build a PHES scheme for overnight discounted electricity as well? (Pumped Hydro Electricity Storage.) If investors invest in the PHES – they might get cheap overnight power as well?
How the existing Solar Garden scheme works:-
1. Become a member of Haystacks Solar Garden Co-operative.
2. Apply for a solar garden plot and transfer the plot fee
3. Switch your electricity retailer to the participating retailer – Energy Locals
4. Once the solar panels are generating electricity, receive credit on your electricity bill.”