Why is Renewable Energy and Storage an Essential Service in Australia?

Why is Renewable Energy and Storage an Essential Service in Australia?

NSW’s essential services act 1988 states that the production, supply and even the distribution of any kind of energy, power or fossil fuel comes within the realm of crucial services. Thus, Australia recognises energy provision as an essential service which includes the multitude of renewable energy projects that are still in progress as well as those in operation across the country. 

Clean energy, which accounts for more than 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity, is a critical part of the economy. This is the reason why renewable power generation systems and storage units must operate flexibly even in the face of a calamity like the coronavirus pandemic. 

Future restrictions levied in response to the COVID-19 crisis for ‘non-essential’ business activity, must recognise that the operation and maintenance of renewables systems and energy storage projects are ‘essential’ by nature. Authorities must make exceptions for construction and installation, along with energy transmission and distribution of renewable energy.

The Pressing Need to Maintain Renewable Energy and Storage as an Essential Service

Australia’s energy industry must continue maintaining, installing and connecting power generation assets if it intends to accomplish its Sustainable Development Goals 7. In an attempt to fight the ills of COVID-19, Australia must organise the renewable energy and energy storage sector as they fall under the essential services category.  

Renewable Energy and Storage: Underlying Issues During COVID-19

There is a need to shed further more light on the installation of renewables, for example, rooftop solar installations and commercial or utility-scale PV projects during the COVID-19 crisis. There is also an immediate need to recognise the essential nature of the installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy sources and energy storage, alongside energy transmission and distribution. 

To maintain the strength of the solar energy grid in Australia, the industry on the whole needs to move its specialised workers and equipment to address the needs of solar plants and systems in different locations and jurisdictions. Since renewable energy generation plants don’t need specialist staff and spare parts on-site at all times, governments can meet the equipment failures and maintenance needs with flexibility. Simple measures like resource-pooling for rapid responses and seamless business continuity in specific locations are also deemed necessary.

Coming to small-scale solar power generation units, allowing installations would help Australian the population find relief from high electricity bills that result from extended home confinement during lockdowns. Such relaxations would also offer job security in the time of crisis to thousands employed in the sector. 

Conclusion

Installing solar panels does not mandate close contact between a customer and the solar technician. Thus, the risk is negligible if customers choose to install a solar system during the crisis. Natural Solar Company deals in solar panels, inverters and batteries. As a solar systems vendor, it is committed to following government-issued health advice to protect Australians, as it carries out its usual business, limiting the corona spread in communities where it operates.

How Cheap is Solar Power in Australia?

How Cheap is Solar Power in Australia?

In 2020, the average cost of a 5kW system is around $6500 in Australia, but it varies from area to area. It is said that solar installations pay for themselves over time, so, it’s important to factor in the pay-back time in your location while calculating the cost of solar panels. 

Many Australian solar power vendors offer cheap pricing as their only ‘unique selling point’ hoping to capture a significant market share. They work with low-paid, unskilled full-time employees, or the cheapest subcontractors for cost-cutting, and execute rushed installations that under-perform and fail prematurely. Customers must steer clear of these vendors and their false claims. 

How Cheap is Actually Cheap When it Comes to Solar Power Systems in Australia?

Often buyers call for solar power system installation quotes from various sellers for comparisons before they make any purchases. It’s common for them to find wide discrepancies in quotes from multiple solar system vendors, even if they are selling the same kind of solar merchandise. This raises questions about the credibility of the solar vendor who is selling solar power installations at a higher price. 

However, customers need to dig deeper than just looking at the prices when they purchase solar power installations. They may find that the seller who is selling solar power installations at lower pricing may be a high-volume, low-margin business. Such vendors often buy in bulk and then pass the benefit of savings to their customers to gain a competitive edge in the over-populated Australian solar market. Buyers must consider themselves blessed to find such vendors in the market and leverage their services for their own advantage. 

On the other hand, solar system vendors may be selling cheap solar power installations of below-average quality. Their business model may involve a quick installation process, sans any other after-sales services for customers. This translates into cheap solar systems for cheap pricing and something that every buyer must stay away from. Even if a low-quote vendor offers the same brand of solar panel installations as the high quote vendor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go with them.

How to Buy the Best Solar System Installations at the Best Prices?

Self-conducted, unbiased research is the best way to steer clear of unrealistic solar system cheap quotes and buy the best solar system for the best price. 

Before buying a solar installation for your personal use, make it a point to go through your solar system vendor’s reputation online. This can help build credibility before investing money in solar installations.  Quality solar system installation is one that produces sustained, reliable energy and proves to be cost-efficient in the long run. Buyers can make a smart investment in solar power buy avoiding overpaying for solar system installations. But it is important to accept the fact that buying smart doesn’t always mean opting for cheaply priced solar panels which do not do the job right and wear out quickly. All in all, a cheap deal is not always the best deal when it comes to solar panel installations.

Solar Power Cheap Today, Cheaper Tomorrow

Solar Power Cheap Today, Cheaper Tomorrow

Introduction

Harnessing solar energy on utility-scale is setting back the former popularity of fossil fuels for power generation in Australia. Solar energy offers a distinct pricing advantage when compared to fossil fuels and other sources of power generation. Researchers have observed that utility-scale harnessed solar electricity prices have fallen drastically between 2010 and 2020 and evidently so because technologies become cheaper as they scale. As an example, the cost of electricity produced from Solar Energy declines as the production increases.

The Solar Perspective: Australia

Australia is the undisputed world-leader when it comes to harnessing renewable energy. According to a research study published in 2020, 21 percent of Australia’s electricity came from renewable energy in 2019, which increased from 19 percent in 2018. The study also highlighted that the most significant increase in renewable electricity generation was in large-scale solar (135 percent), followed by small-scale solar, which was up 25 percent.

The impressive upsurge in electricity generation from renewables was due to record levels of new investment in the sector. The Ministry of Energy and Emission reduction states that 6.3 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity were delivered in 2019, which included 3.9 GW of utility-scale solar power plants capacity and 2.4 GW of residential as well as commercial rooftop solar installations. It is expected that a similar trend will follow suit in 2020. Capacity additions in 2020 are expected to range between 6 GW and 6.5 GW.

Solar Power Generation is Cheap: How and Why?

Before 2010, Solar prices ranged between $5 to $10 per watt. This limited their adoption to only the early adopters with more significant financial means. However, decreasing costs, attractive governmental STC schemes, and incentives have brought down solar power prices dramatically over the past five years.

Solar power generation in Australia is getting cheaper by the day because of the economies of scale that product manufacturers are achieving with magnified demand and streamlined installations. Plummeting prices for harnessing solar power are inversely proportional to how much the sector is putting towards deployment of the solar installations. According to Swanson’s Law, the cost per watt of solar electricity has been dropping exponentially with each passing year. 

Developments and improvements in cell efficiency and panel designs continue to benefit the nation in novel ways. Resultantly, even the costly production processes have been revamped, with its benefits passed through to consumers.

The demand for solar will continue to rise, given the increasing incomes and fast-paced consumption in developed and developing countries. The widespread popularity of electrical transport, flexible grids and industrial decarbonisation are the main components that contribute towards its reputation as a source of energy. 

Australia’s Future under the Sun

The trend of dramatically decreasing solar electricity prices as projected in the future will likely cause the more expensive fossil-fuel electricity generation to become less and less popular. Despite challenges like finding cheaper solar electricity storage, grid integration, and complimentary solar power generation, solar power presents an excellent alternative for decarbonising the country’s electrical grid. 

How to Harness Solar Power for a House Nestled in Trees

How to Harness Solar Power for a House Nestled in Trees

Introduction

Shading, even if partial, can be detrimental to the outcome of solar power systems. Having trees around a house means the possibility of shadows cast on certain parts of the rooftop solar panels. The presence of shade on the rooftop can compromise the energy output of the solar installation.

Why Does Shading Impact Rooftop Solar Energy Production?

Most solar photovoltaic systems contain solar panels (array) and a solar inverter. While solar panels convert sunlight into DC electricity, the solar inverter then converts it into AC electricity, which is compatible with the grid and appliances. Due to the voltage requirements of a PV system’s inverters, solar arrays are divided into ‘strings’ of solar panels. Solar power, once generated, flows through the strings of panels. 

Shade can block the flow of solar power through the string, preventing homeowners from realizing the full benefits of the costly solar panels they install. Shade from trees and chimneys on even a single solar panel in a string can reduce or flatten the output. 

How to Harness Solar Power for a House Nestled in Trees?

There are ways in which house owners can deal with the problem of shading of solar arrays in case their house is nestled in trees:

1. Bypass Diodes

Innovative instruments used on photovoltaic (PV) systems such as Bypass Diodes are installed to protect partially shaded PV cells and mitigate the destructive effects of cell shading. These devices are connected externally and in reverse parallel to provide an alternative electrical path for the generated current to flow through. They preserve the performance of the series string to maintain the optimal output of electrical energy. 

2. String Inverter with Global MPPT 

House owners with partially shaded rooftops must choose a solar inverter that performs global MPPT for optimum energy production. String inverters on solar panels also determine the voltage and current levels at which the array operates. In a partially shaded array, inverters skip shaded sections instead of running at their lower current with the use of Bypass Diodes. Thus, multiple operating points maximize power output in a solar installation on partially shaded roofs. A string inverter with Global MPPT sweeps across the full range of current and voltage levels to determine which power output is globally maximized.

3. Solar Micro Inverters and Power Optimizers

Micro inverters and power optimizers are used to improve performance for solar panels on roofs that experience marginal shading during the day. Micro inverters are a small version of an inverter that converts DC to AC power from an individual solar panel. It can optimize the power production from each individual module to deliver maximum energy from the solar array.

Sometimes, when each module has an MPPT but only one system inverter, solar experts recommend a power optimizer for each panel to convert its optimum DC output to the inverter’s optimum DC power.

Conclusion

A simple site survey by a solar expert, including the shading analysis, can help you figure out how to harness solar power for a house nestled in trees.

We at nationalsolarcompany.com.au deal with solar inverters, solar panels, and solar batteries to cater to your all-around solar energy needs. 

Why are Renewable the Smartest & Most Cost-Effective Investment for Australia

National Solar Company

Current Global Scenario: Renewables

A recent report tracking the progress of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7) claimed that global economies would not be able to ensure universal access to affordable, sustainable energy by 2030 if they do not scale their efforts towards clean energy resources. Despite remarkable efforts to boost overall access to electricity, promotion of renewable energy for electricity generation, and significant improvements in energy efficiency, the efforts seem insufficient to reach SDG 7 goals, post the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Governments worldwide are expected to show political commitment, indulge in long-term energy planning, increase public and private financing, and offer adequate fiscal incentives to streamline alternative energy deployment.

Australia’s Renewable Energy Market

Australian renewable energy industry boasts of 4.4GW of new renewable energy capacity installed which means that almost a quarter of Australia’s electricity supply comes from renewable energy sources, as claimed bya 2019 Clean Energy Australia Report. The report also states that $20.4 billion in investments were made in renewables in the country, which created more than 14,500 jobs.

Why are Renewables the Smartest & Most Cost-Effective Investment for Australia?

After one of the worst wildfire seasons brought climate change to the center of the country’s agenda, Australia is on the verge of a paradigm shift towards green energy. There is an immediate need to accelerate investment in the renewables. 

To realize the ambitious Renewable Energy Targets of reaching zero emissions by 2035 and harnessing cheap energy, renewable resources of energy offer an attractive recourse. Australia plans to fast-track the development of solar power systems and wind power projects with an investment of $50 billion. 

Coal-fired power stations in the country are aging, with many due to retire within the next fifteen years. Australia has reached a crossroads, where it has to grow its renewable capacity and accelerate work to upgrade its outdated grid infrastructure in order to transition to a modern, clean energy system successfully. In the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, the adoption of renewable energy sources can empower Australia’s crisis management and economy rebuilding plans.  Renewables like wind energy and solar energy insulate businesses and households from rising energy costs while helping the nation meet emissions reductions obligations. Moreover, investments in building renewable energy infrastructure are smart as they would boost large-scale job creation for the natives.

Australia has an advantage when it comes to leveraging renewable power: the cost involved in accelerating the transition to renewables is low in Australia. Renewables can empower the country to become an economic giant in a post-corona world. Moreover, the country plans to export solar power overseas. 

In 2019, a surge in the number of roof-top solar installations attributed to a record-breaking third consecutive year. The demand for new solar energy avenues will organically replace Australia’s exhaustible energy resources.

With renewable adoption all over Australia, Natural Solar Company aims for a sustainable future with a reduced Carbon footprint through state-of-the-art products like solar panels, solar inverters, and solar batteries. The company pledges to support the country’s initiative to emerge from the pandemic crisis as a renewable energy superpower in the post-COVID world.