[LINK] New Law for Citizen Owned Solar Power Stations in Canberra

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Mar 4 08:18:24 AEDT 2011

The Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Amendment Act 2011
takes effect in Canberra on 7 March 2011. This allows community groups
to invest in collaborative renewable power projects, up to 200kW, rather
than each householder having to have an individual system installed in
their home: <http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2011-6/>.

Robin Eckermann mentioned this idea in his talk on "The SMART GRID - The
looming energy revolution" Tuesday night at the Australian Computer
Society Canberra Branch Forum:

George Cora demonstrated his design for an "Active Solar Tracker" which
could be used to make such large solar arrays more efficient, at the
Australian National University on Thursday:

While it will be possible to make 200kW solar arrays more efficiently
and cheaper than individual household units, this is still not very
large for a solar power station. It would only be the equivalent of
about 134 individual 1500 W household systems and could only power about
100 toasters.

Another, and far more cost-effective, way for the ACT Government to
achieve energy savings would be to overhaul their web site. As an
example, the new feed-in Act is offered as a 73KB PDF file and a 693KB
RTF file. The text of the document is only 13 KB. The PDF file is a
reasonable size, allowing for formatting overheads and a logo. But
clearly there is something wrong with the RTF version, which is much
larger than needed.

Larger files consume computer and telecommunications capacity, which in
turn requires more electricity to power it. If the ACT Government was to
instead provide this Act as a web page, it would only require about 30
kbytes, half the size of the PDF version and one twentieth the size of
the RTF version.

To verify this, I opened the RTF version of the Act in OpenOffice.org,
saved it as HTML and then ran that through HTML Tidy. That document
still contains excessive formatting, which when removed would reduce the
file size further. Also some tweaks would need to be made to the
template used for Acts to allow them to display better, but here is
portion to show what it looks like:

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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