With much fanfare and breast-beating, several initiatives have been announced to convince Australians to generate their own electricity, simply by placing photo-voltaic (or solar power) panels on their otherwise-wasted roof space.
Of course, there is nothing particularly new about generating
electricity from the sun. Photo-voltaics have been known about - and used - for
There are two main reasons that it has taken a recent boost in
(1) "Green" is fashionable. Concern about the environment has
escalated dramatically in the last decade to the point where some people are
prepared to pay extra for "green" power.
(2) Perhaps even more importantly, vast improvements have been
made in the efficiency of photo-voltaic cells in recent years. And with the
amount of money being poured into R&D, it is expected this will continue.
Coupled with this is a very significant reduction in cost - as
volumes rise, costs should continue to fall.