Way to the Future: Solar Energy Australia
When Bill Gates first started Microsoft, he dreamt that one day every desk in every office and every home would have a computer. The fledgling entrepreneur had to face his fair share of ridicule for wanting to achieve this seemingly futile dream, yet here we are. If ever there was a story of one man’s vision changing the world, this is it. The development and widespread adoption of the personal computer has heralded in a new technological revolution for human kind, and the world is better off now than it was before. We at Integra Solar have a similar vision. A vision driven by our commitment to see a clean, energy independent Australia, safe from the perils of excessive carbon emissions and hazardous climate change. We see a future where every suitable Australian household, can be turned into a miniature power station, providing the nation with sustainable energy for generations to come. Our vision is driven by pragmatism as much as it is by lofty ideals. Energy prices in Australia are reaching a crisis point. Australian households are feeling the heat, figuratively speaking, of rising energy prices and many are struggling to keep pace. But this does not have to be the case.
134 per cent of Australia’s energy needs can be met, if every house installs residential solar panels in Australia. According to the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport, there are 9.4 million houses in Australia. Of these, 7.6 million have been constructed in a manner that is conducive to the use of solar energy in Australia. That means that 84% of Australia’s households are suitable for residential solar panels. If we look at statistics from the Australian Bureau of statistics, the Average Australian floor size in 1970 was 140 square metres. A report by the bureau in 2020 stated that Australian homes are on average some of the largest in the world, currently beating out the United States at around 220 – 230 square metres on average. Each of these houses has around 34% of its roof space available to install residential solar panels. This brings us to about a total of 394 square kilometres of roof space available and suitable for the installation of residential solar panels in Australia. This area is large enough to accommodate 246.6 million solar panel systems of a standard 250-Watt output. All combined, this would produce 277.5 million kWh of clean, green solar energy per day, and a yearly output of 81,047 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Australia’s annual energy consumption is 60,139 GW according to the Bureau of Resources, Energy and Tourism. Therefore, the combined output of solar panels on each Australian house fulfills the nation’s energy demand with room to spare.
This idea only works if each house can produce sufficient electricity, with enough to spare and feed back into the grid. Advancements in solar technology are making this increasingly possible. Modern residential solar panels in Australia are getting more and more efficient. They can produce more energy, longer and faster than ever before, all on the same size. Solar rebates and instalment plans have made owning solar panel systems more affordable than ever before. Integra solar provides many affordable, world-class residential solar panels, Australia for our customers. All these panels are competitively priced and produced by the most driven and capable individuals in the field.
Rolling out a scheme to put solar panels on the roof of every Australian home is a gargantuan task, one not any company can undertake. Nonetheless, we at Integra Solar, and our partners, are committed to seeing not just Australia, but also the world make extensive use of solar energy, to help reduce climate change and also the chances of conflict that come with energy deprivation. Now this is not likely to happen overnight, but then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day either, as the adage goes. Nonetheless, if ever there was a goal worth striving for, this is among their number. Forest fires are an annual reminder that we need to do more to fight global warming, and your monthly utility bill is another.
So, what would it look like if residential solar panels in Australia became the norm? To begin, coal power can probably just go out the window. Yes, this is fanciful thinking, but Bill gates was called worse when he tried to dream of a PC on every desk. Barring heavy industrial areas, coal power would immediately become redundant, drastically dropping Australia’s carbon emissions. On sunny days, of which Australia has a lot, no other power source would be necessary. However, on cloudy days and during the night, Australia can rely on thus far under-utilised gas-fired plants. They exist, yes, but they haven’t been used to their maximum capacity in lieu of coal. This alone would drastically reduce carbon emissions, and with storage technology proliferating the market, with time, these too will become redundant, or remain in place as a failsafe.
If you like what you’ve read so far, remember that we have not yet taken commercial buildings into account yet. If every house has solar panels on 34% of its roof, we get 134 per cent of Australia’s energy demands. What would happen if we factored in commercial buildings? What would happen if the government decided to build solar parks in particularly sunny areas, to help shore up the energy supply for cloudy days or night time use? The possibilities are endless. Australia would switch to electric vehicles, further reducing environmental strain. The number of jobs all these projects will create is staggering, further giving the economy impetus. Coupled with a stark reduction in electricity prices, the purchasing power of the Australian customer would drastically increase as well, further improving financial circulation.
This is not just about solar energy in Australia. This is about building a resilient Australia, one that has a vibrant economy, a productive and happy populace and global relevance. All of this can become a reality if every household decides to install residential solar panels in Australia.
The Inevitability of Residential Solar Panels, Australia
Go back twenty years and solar homes were considered a fringe concept. Not worth the time or money to invest in. Today, however, thanks in large part to innovations in the solar world, as well as government incentives, solar energy Australia appears to have a bright future.
As of 2020, 20% of Australian homes had residential solar panels installed on their rooftops, with an average of 9500 solar panels being installed daily. This was in spite of the coronavirus and the economic recession that accompanied the global lockdowns. Nonetheless, 2021’s record for installing solar panels was smashed in 2020. Furthermore, CSIRO has predicted that 35 – 40% of Australian energy will be produced from residential solar panels. The trend is clearly visible, and it is a positive and encouraging one. Solar energy is now a viable source of energy, not just for homes, but also for commercial sectors, and it has come a long way. Back in 1988, the few people who could afford to install solar panels, could only use them to power a handful of appliances. Nowadays, solar energy Australia powers major residential hubs and 20% of the nation’s homes. Furthermore, feed-in tariffs have drastically reduced the load on the national grid, making power outages less likely and reducing the risk of failure.
But when all is said and done, what it really comes down to is what we want for our children and their children. Do we want a brighter future, one full of biological diversity and harmony with nature? Or do we want them to grow up in a bleak world, haunted by climate disaster, wondering why their elders did not do their part in preserving the delicate balance of nature? I think the answer is clear. Hardly any of us would want the latter. Hardly any of us would want our children to lament their condition and wish that their forebears hadn’t bought that second SUV or invested in coal power to fuel their destructive and reckless lifestyles. It makes sense to invest in the abundant wealth of the sun’s light and use it to power not just our world, but also our future. Not just because we can save on energy bills, but also because we need to make sure that the world which we leave behind is far better than the one we inherited.