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Australia Keeps Pace with Solar Development

nora g hart

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A new energy paradigm is emerging in Australia. In less than a decade, many countries will no longer be completely dependent on fossil fuels to power buildings and homes. Even oil and utility companies are preparing for the solar energy revolution in Australia. In the process of converting to this rapidly improving technology, Australians are reducing greenhouse gases while saving money on energy bills.

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Solar Energy in Australia

Over 800 megawatts (MW) of throughout 2014, according to Green Energy Markets. That's enough energy capacity to power nearly 200,000 systems. Meanwhile, large-scale commercial solar electric systems were confined mainly to the Australian Capital Territory, where 21 MW was added, and in Western Australia where 11.5 MW was added. Here's how the small-scale systems were divided throughout the country:

  • Queensland 33%
  • Victoria 21%
  • New South Wales 17%
  • South Australia 13%
  • Western Australia 12%
  • Tasmania 3%

Another interesting development in Australia was that electricity consumption fell 1.1% in 2014 from the previous year. This decline indicates that Australians are willing to cut back on energy to reduce their bills. The nation is clearly entering a transition period just as the solar energy paradigm in Australia is emerging as an alternative that does not necessarily require cutting energy usage in order to cut energy costs.

Free Energy From the Sun

Each day enough sunlight hits the earth's surface to power Australian homes for many years. The only thing holding back this concept from becoming reality is that the technology has not yet been invented to accomplish such a milestone for civilization. Solar technology, however, is rapidly improving and keeps getting more efficient and affordable every year. The era of huge solar panels to power a single home is over as panels continue to shrink in size while increasing in power the way computers have over the last several decades.

and is then distributed to a box called an inverter, which is about the size of a meter box. This inverter is usually attached to a wall on the ground floor of the home. The inverter converts direct current into alternating current so that electricity can be fed to electric outlets that power regular home appliances from toasters to televisions. This type of technology that converts sunlight into electricity is called a photovoltaic (PV) system. Once this equipment is paid for, the homeowner enjoys free energy from the sun.

Solar Basics

There are several factors that determine how efficient a PV system will be. The size and quality of the panels matter, as well as the size and quality of the inverter. PV systems work best in Australia when they face north at a twenty-degree angle without trees obstructing sun rays hitting the solar panels. One of the great benefits of solar is that excess energy can be sold back to the utility company.

Even on cloudy days, it's possible to generate enough electricity from sunlight, provided the inverter is powerful enough. At night time, the system switches off but returns the next day when the sun rises. Eventually solar batteries will solve the energy deficiency at night.

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The Future of Solar

Solar energy has an incredibly bright future ahead. Every year new inventions make the technology more efficient. Some countries are starting to build solar roads that power bicycles while others are experimenting with solar shingles or solar spray paint. Electric car manufacturers are talking about integrating solar panels with carports for electric car charging stations. In Australia, companies such as Phoenix Solar are paving the way to an eco-friendly new century.


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