Australia - Look Up For a Moment and Imagine a Roof-Top Solar Panel World 🎥
Updated: Jan 27, 2019
Certainly I hear you thinking “wouldn’t that cost a fortune?”
If you are in Victoria, there is an estimated 104 square kilometre of roof-space on commercial buildings - just in one state. And as a result that state would produce enough solar power to supply between one third and a quarter of Australia’s total energy needs! Well yes, in the beginning it would cost approximately AU$19 billion. Nevertheless the financial case stacks up, when we think about the return on those costs. If financed correctly, the investment of installing rooftop solar would be worth it, for the increasing number of 570,000 businesses under those roofs. For those businesses the spending on electricity bills would be reduced by an amount greater than the loan repayments required to finance them in the first place.
And that is only the example from Victoria.
We were therefore pleased to read the following news recently: Aldi, the German low-cost supermarket giant, has made a further pledge in Australia as the commercial and industrial PV market segment continues to grow at a fast pace. Aldi Australia will roll out 4.6 MW of rooftop solar across 30 stores and distribution centers in New South Wales and Queensland. The Netherland based renewables developer ‘Photon Energy’ will deliver the rooftop PV arrays.
“Photon Energy is very proud to be cooperating with ALDI to transform its stores into solar power generators capable of providing a large proportion of their daytime electricity consumption,” said Michael Gartner, Photon Energy MD, in a press release on the 22nd of January 2019.
Worldwide, Aldi is known for its corporate social responsibility and devotion for solar PV. For example, in 2017 the German retailer had 85,000 solar panels in the United Kingdom across nine distribution centers and 275 stores; it boasts an impressive 17,500 MWh of solar electricity per annum. Compare the hours of optimal sunlight available in Australia to that in much of Europe! (283 days yearly of sunshine in Brisbane in contrast to 59 days a year in London.)
Let us not forget to mention one of Australia’s soaring renewable energy sectors. Residential solar has reached another major milestone, with the number of households to have installed rooftop PV passing the two million-mark.
“In the first 9 months of 2018, we’ve already exceeded the volume registered in any previous year,” SunWiz director Warwick Johnston noted. “We’ve also doubled the volume installed by the same time in 2016.” Queensland regained its ranking as the top market for the latest month with capacity of just over 32MW, topping NSW (which had held the mantle for a few months, and Victoria (26GW). For detailed information: https://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-rooftop-solar-installations-pass-7-5gw-milestone-12826/
Australian Home Solar Roof Panel increase
Data from 2016 shows that some states are not making nearly as much progress in the rollout of solar. We hope see this change in the years to come and have Australia take its rightful place as a world leader in renewable energy.
State and Territory proportions of households with Solar panels. Source: Data from Australian PV Institute 2016
It is clear that rooftop solar presents opportunities across the supply chain; for the manufacturers and the installers who supply the kit to households and the business sector broadly experiencing sustained job creation. We find double and even triple-dividends enjoyed, as households enjoy lower power bills and the nation as a whole contributes to the lowering of carbon emissions as part of global efforts to combat climate change and transition our economies.
For detailed information about solar opportunities including research, finance etc. please visit https://arena.gov.au/
Australia may be wedded to coal, but one town in the country's east wants to carve out its own future: no fossil fuels in sight!
🎥 (3:37) Australian town goes off the grid ditching power companies - CNET, May 2018
Australian Government, ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) - ArenaWire (viewed 26.01.2019)
PV Magazine - Australian Edition, 2019 (viewed 26.01.2019)
RenewEconomy - Fair Dinkum Power News & Analysis