Global Warming and Australia

Rising disease, soaring temperatures and melting ice caps are only among the high stakes as a consequence of global warming and climate change. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that climate change triggers a fear sense in all of us. Very recently, the story on climate change published in the New York Magazine opens with a promise that the consequences can be far worse than what most of us think.

Although there is one section of the global population that is seemingly unconcerned about global change and its consequences, thankfully, global leaders have taken note and the Paris agreement signed in 2016 is a major pointer to the path ahead. Today, our planet has plenty of choices and if we expect our future generations to inherit we must act urgently and positively to the challenges that lie ahead and that would ensure a significant future for our own generations as well as generations to come. Some researchers have opined that we have just about a few years to start the fight against global warming in right earnest if we have to prevent the worst effects from visiting us. At an individual level, focusing efforts on reducing the emission of greenhouse gases should always be in the forefront.

Need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels

For long, the world has depended on fossil fuels to meet all its energy needs. But, it is gratifying to see rapid changes in this arena with more and more nations embracing alternative sources of energy like wind power, solar energy and thermal energy. Solar energy in particular heads this list of initiatives in renewable energy. India, China, US, Germany, Australia, Denmark, UK, Scotland and Ireland have already created and broken records in the production of renewable energy and some of them are also targeting renewable energy as the singular source to meet all the energy needs of the nation.

Australia too is making significant strides in exploiting its abundant sunshine across the year. 2016 alone saw a whopping 500% increase in capacity commitments in the large scale renewable energy sector with 1350 MW being added and 719 MW more in the pipeline. This compares with 409 MW of renewable capacity in 2015. During the same period, Australia also attracted $4 billion investments into new projects in the renewable energy sector. The pace of investment to has picked up with over $2 billion worth of commitments into new projects in the sector during the first quarter of 2017. There are a lot of companies that deal with solar in Australia none truly innovative in their outlook. The entire market outlook is mired by Tesla or SolarCity not breaking into the market. There are some better companies with some good reviews like the one here. Global organizations have come out in the favour of solar and while the VIctorian government is working to improve the situation the federal gov seems to be going back on renewable energy target.

Similarly, in 2016 the number of accredited renewable power stations with accreditation also doubled and solar farms accounted for 86 of 98 power stations.

The Australian household segment also kept pace with roof top solar growing to 2.6 million during the same period. That also brings the per capita roof top solar panel penetration the highest around the world for Australia. In 2016 182,173 installations of renewable energy systems in the small scale were made accounting for about 15% Aussie home now covered with a solar roof.

Grant funding in Australia dropped by 800% in the last two years

Grant funding for building new solar projects in the large scale projects provided by ARENA has dramatically dropped by about 800% in the last two years. The grant funding needs for large scale projects in solar energy stood at $1.60/watt in 2014. In 2015 this dropped to 43 cents/watt and dropped further to 28 cents per watt in June 2016. September 2016 saw a further drop to 19 cents per watt. Alongside, total cost of projects also dipped by about 40% which augurs well for further achievements in the ongoing trend. Eurosolar is currently ranked #1 in retail sector installation. There is even a page about their reviews.

While Australians can be proud of their achievements so far in the renewable energy sector, with particular emphasis on solar energy, there is plenty of room for further improvement and a lot more needs to be achieved. Global warming has hardly been reigned in and making a quantum shift from fossil fuels to energy cannot be an overnight process. However, the initiatives so far are in the right direction and everyone should support the renewable energy movement more than ever in the past and work towards significant reduction in use of fossil fuels.

Advantages of choosing solar energy over conventional sources

Apart from making your contribution to save this planet from the ill effects of global warming, you have direct benefits from choosing solar energy over other sources of energy, particularly those produced with the help of fossil fuels.

As we do know, the cost of conventional power is going up at regular intervals and there is no way we can control that. Ageing infrastructure and ever increasing labour costs will only add to the woes of the energy industry dependent on fossil fuels in the years to come. In such a scenario it makes great sense to switch to solar power.

Most solar rebates have disappeared – but you can still have the cake and eat it too! Although, most solar rebates have disappeared, you have the opportunity to have the cake and eat it too. Here are some ways for combating the bill shock on the face of feed-in tariffs that keep falling like the proverbial nine pins.

Optimize use of solar power than sell it back

Optimizing the use of solar power that you generate makes great sense instead of selling the excess back to the grid. For instance, you can use timers for switch on power guzzling appliances like washing machines and dish washers during day time when the solar energy output is at its best. This would help you draw significantly lesser energy from the grid and thus reduce your monthly bills. If you have nothing or precious little to sell back to the grid, the falling feed-in tariffs cannot bother you much.

Use storage batteries

Many companies lead by Tesla are now offering home storage batteries for domestic solar installations. When you install this, you have the ability to store energy produced during the day and use it at night targeting at 100% solar energy for all your needs. When this is achieved, you will have no bill or a negligible bill for consumption from the grid. Admittedly there is an upfront investment for the batteries that could burn a hole in your wallet. But, weighed against future savings, the returns on your investments are bound to be attractive.
Like the little drops making an ocean, we can contribute to contain global warming and yet make a few dollars month after month in the process!

Other resources

  1.  “Hanergy Acquires Global Solar Energy”Global Solar. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2.  “Changes for solar in Germany”. 3 April 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  3.  Excess power will be purchased at the sale price for two years, otherwise known as net metering.
  4. Euro Solar Reviews on 19 Sept
  5. Enbridge completes Sarnia solar farm Retrieved 5 October 2010
  6. Spain expects 3,000 MW in solar plants by 2010″. Environmental News Network. September 25, 2008. Retrieved 2011-03-06.