More Australians are saving on their electricity bills through the use of solar energy, according to a new report by the Climate Commission.
The Solar Energy report of the said commission cited that 10 per cent of Australians or roughly 2.5 million people have invested in solar energy for their residences. Likewise, more than a million solar energy systems have been installed in rooftops in Australia, a significant improvement from the 8,000 recorded in 2007.
The Climate Commission said that Australia has the largest number of individual installations in the world. Although it trails behind Germany in terms of total capacity of solar panels, the belief is that it would eventually catch up because Australia is a sunny country. Lower solar panel quotes have boosted the increased number solar panel installations in the country, the commission added.
The Solar Energy Revolution
Climate Commission chief Tim Flannery called the trend “a solar energy revolution.” According to him, the things that have occurred over the past five years in the solar industry and Australia were not projected by anyone. He said that the government had foreseen this to happen by the year 2030.
He said the renewable energy revolution is just beginning, with solar thermal power soon to take off. He called it a revolution because it has allowed humankind to generate our own power.
But what Flannery is amazed at is the fact that the installation of solar panels is not limited to the wealthy. He said people on fixed incomes, and not just the wealthy, are inquiring about solar panel quotes, installing solar panels and getting solar rebates. “They don’t like the idea of getting bigger electricity bills every year,” he said.
The Market Impact From Solar Energy
Flannery said that big utilities are feeling the effects of the increasing preference for renewable energy as every person with solar panels on his roof is one less customer for the electricity firms.
The professor expressed belief that solar energy will challenge all other types of electricity generation in the future. He cited that several new solar technologies are becoming more popular like solar thermal that enables its users to generate electricity round the clock.
He also said he expects that renters and homeowners will access the solar sector through several innovations. He cited the possibility of having community solar farms which have been proposed but are still to be made available in Australia.
“So that you can buy a couple of solar panels on a community roof space, like a local market or community building, and then use that as your electricity generation unit,” he said.
Flannery said that solar rebates are being cut by governments because the economic benefits from solar panels can simply outweigh the feed-in tariffs. He said this trend is not just confined in Australia but all around the world.
The professor said that the cost of producing solar panels has declined by as much as 80 per cent. He attributed the continued growth of the solar energy industry to the reduction of rebates by various governments.