By Amy Dainton
Historically Australians have been dependent on a few large, centralised power stations (most privately owned) to supply our homes, businesses and public spaces.
The coal, oil and gas plants (we don’t have any nuclear power onshore) that have dominated our power supply have become unreliable and inefficient not to mention increasingly environmentally unsound and expensive for consumers.
Thus, the way forward for Australia’s energy security and stability seems to be a diversification of sources, and cleaner ones at that. The Clean Energy Council of Australia has listed solar, wind, hydro and bio-energy as the energy sources of the future.
For many accessing and setting up these alternative power supply and management systems has been in the too-hard basket, as the market has been inundated with confusing and stressful sales tactics, product information, installation dramas and follow-up support.
But people have persisted, the 1.6 million Australian homes and businesses with solar panels on their rooves alone attests to this, and that doesn’t include all the other types of green energy systems being utilised.
As the price of energy storage (think battery banks) drops and the flexibility of inverters (think grid-tied hybrid systems or size-upgrade options) increases, thanks to technology getting smarter, clean energy options become more appealing and affordable
And, as the consumer and commercial markets start to respond to consumer preferences for clean energy options, state and federal regulatory framework should follow. Here’s to hoping.