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Aside from those lower power bills, solar energy offers a multitude of benefits to homes and businesses across the country.
It’s infinite and renewable
Solar works day in and day out, is infinite and renewable for as long as the sun rises — so for the next 5 billion years, give or take. Australia has some of the best conditions in the world to make use of solar energy.
According to The Australia Institute, solar is the most popular energy choice of the future — 63% of participants ranked it as their number one preferred energy choice and 90% of participants ranked it within their top three preferences.
‘This stands in strong contrast to coal and coal seam gas (CSG), which were listed among the top three energy sources by a mere 35 and 38 per cent of Australians respectively.
“Fossil fuel derived energy sources such as coal and CSG have been widely criticised for their environmental and health impacts. Six out of 10 Australians consider coal and CSG to have a detrimental effect on the landscape, while only a fraction of that — 13 per cent — share the same concern in relation to solar energy.” — The Australia Institute.
It’s low in maintenance
Since solar panels have no moving parts and therefore no wear and tear, they represent minimal ongoing maintenance. A clean every now and then and you’re set.
Solar energy also offers us diverse applications. It can be used to heat, to produce electricity, to distill water, even to power satellites. We have already seen the development of building products in-built with solar technology and battery storage units so it’s exciting to think what the future applications may be. Both demand and technology are driving down the cost of installing solar panels and batteries.
The use of solar energy reduces the demand for fossil fuel driven energy such as oil, coal and gas — a win for the environment. Based on usage in Queensland, a 4kW solar system, generating 16kWh of electricity a day reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 5.7 tonnes per year. There are no pollutants associated with solar power generation so being a zero-emission energy source, solar can help you to avoid one tonne of CO2 for every 1MWh of solar power generated. This makes installing solar one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon emissions — even better than leaving the car at home and using public transport to commute.
Solar energy can also benefit the wider community. In 2015 the Australian Government settled on reforms targeting 23.5% of our country’s electricity generation coming from renewable sources by 2020. Installing solar energy means you can be part of the solution and help Australia reach the target.