Zero-emission electricity is now affordable for Australians without the risks of being left without power.
With the rapidly changing electricity prices and rise of alternative sources of energy to the grid, the Australian Government is reviewing the market to ensure reliable and secure power can be provided to all. But what does the future hold for the grid?
While cheap coal once had the upper hand in the electricity market for providing cheap electricity to Australians, the need to decrease greenhouse gas emissions is now standing directly in the way of progress.
Australia has made some progress reducing emissions, whilst still keeping prices relatively low and ensuring power security, but there is still vast room for improvement.
The sunny nation leads the world in rooftop solar adoption thanks to the increased retail power prices and significant solar finance and rebates made available to households.
Most installers also offer a system guarantee with a fully comprehensive warranty, which puts many customers minds at ease when making the switch to renewable energy.
“The value of your home increases by reducing the yearly running costs and installing the solar panel adds a capital asset to your property. In a few years, it is possible to recover the made on this system can be recovered and can fetch a higher price for a home if it is sold,”
17 per cent of households in Australia now have a solar system installed on their roof which demonstrates residents making different choices about how they get their electricity but also says something about the issues with our electricity network at the moment.
Electricity is sold by volume (kilowatt and megawatt hours) which was efficient when households had similar relatively low-energy devices, but with the vast increase in high-energy air conditioners and introduction of rooftop solar it’s resulted in fees not suited to customer’s personal demand on the service or system they provide.
How we can reduce prices
In order to reduce Australia’s electricity prices, we firstly need to take advantage of the increasing number of households using alternative energy sources to produce their electricity. An estimated $200 billion will be invested by households in distributed energy sources in upcoming decades.
Paying consumers to implement battery storage systems in their homes to support the power network will help balance supply and demand as the amount of renewables increases, rather than duplicating network expenditure on things such as wires and poles.
Secondly, the current network needs to be utilised more efficiently- research has shown that electric vehicles give the best opportunities to raise grid-electricity demand as well as not contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
If these measures are taken, CSIRO estimates the average residential power bill will reduce by $414 AUD per year by 2050.
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