TEN years ago the idea that solar panels would become as common as roller doors was almost laughable. But now Its not very far when a whole city would be completely solar powered. Read the article to know more.
Today more than 1.4 million homes in Australia have this green technology on their rooftops. That’s huge when you compare it to what it was in 2005, at just 1500. Back then, solar power was the type of technology only hardcore greenies, intent on saving the planet, would embrace.
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There is one state in particular that is embracing solar technology at a staggering rate. One in every five homes in Western Australia has rooftop solar panels. On average, around 1800 solar photovoltaic systems were installed on roof tops each month this year. And there has been an average annual growth rate of installations of about 27 per cent.
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This prompted the state’s Energy Minister, Mike Nahan, to predict that WA’s daytime electricity needs would be completely generated by solar PV within 10 years. And state-owned utility Synergy will soon be offering home battery storage systems to customers, making the idea of power-bill free homes a real possibility.
An Australian-first, it is being conducted to examine how solar technology and battery storage systems can become commercially viable for consumers, land developers, electricity retailers and network operators.
Perth gets an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. Could it be the first Australian city to be solar powered?Source:News Corp
Mr Nahan told news.com.au the WA state-owned utility companies Western Power and Synergy were weeks away from announcing a solution to allow batteries to export to the grid. “Australia is an ideal test market for residential battery storage products due to high peak tariffs and the relatively large existing base of installed solar photovoltaic systems,” he told news.com.au. “Western Power and Synergy are currently in discussions to achieve a solution to allow batteries to export to the grid. I expect to make an announcement in the coming weeks.” Mr Nahan said it has been estimated that solar photovoltaic systems installed on the South West Interconnected System were forecast to generate more than 750 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2015-16.
Solar panels. The energy source of the future? Picture: Reuters/Benoit TessierSource:Reuters
Solar panels. The energy source of the future? Picture: Reuters/Benoit TessierSource:Reuters While Mr Nahan would not say when or which of the stations would be closed, he did say any decision would be made in the “best interests of the state”.
Perth at night. With battery storage systems Perth could use stored solar power at night.Source:News Limited
The micro-grid will allow apartment blocks and townhouse developments to use a communal battery system that will be managed by the strata company, with any excess electricity generated being sold to the utility and the money given to property owners. So not only will prices be cheaper for tenants, the owners can make money.