The Future of Electricity in Australia – Is your business ready for renewable energy?

In last week’s post, we questioned whether Australia was heading to an energy crisis. After South Australia’s state-wide blackout in September 2016 (followed by Adelaide’s February blackouts) – policy makers are starting to pay attention to the predicament.

Electricity prices are already at an all-time high (with no signs of shrinking) – so the reasonable question to ask is, what’s the government doing about it, and how will this all affect you?

We’re Moving to a Lower Emissions Economy

There’s a political and environmental push to move away from coal and into renewable energy sources for our power. This is great news for our planet (and business), should it be managed effectively.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, Australia made an international commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Although well-intended, it will require a coordinated approach across all levels of government and sectors to be successful.

And, as our electricity sector is the largest emissions producer, it will also have the largest role to play in helping Australia meet its targets. Winter is definitely coming.

What’s Changing?

Our ageing infrastructure, changes in consumption, improvements in energy efficiency and technology, and the more than 1.5 million solar PV systems feeding electricity back into the grid from the rooftops of our homes – all affect energy prices and the effectiveness and stability of the national network*.

As more private solar power stations are built, more renewable energy will be fed back into the grid. The government must take measures to ensure the network can adapt to these changing conditions and ensure the stable transition of this new renewable energy into the network.

But, until this is figured out, we may still be vulnerable to an unreliable and costly electricity supply.

Opportunities for Business

The electricity network is in a major stage of reform. With enhancements in technology, like solar and battery storage, the availability and costs of private renewable energy projects mean they are more accessible than ever.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that over the past seven years, the cost of wind has dropped over 50 per cent, and solar PV costs have dropped over 80 per cent**. Prices will continue to fall.  

That’s where we come in.

Solar PV

Installing solar PV systems to generate electricity for your peak usage hours will significantly reduce your grid reliance and power costs.

We’ve seen some cost savings from solar power generation reduce customer electricity bills by up to 70% within 6 months of operation. We forecast that you’ll generate enough in savings to pay off your system within 3 – 4 years under current tariff structures.

Battery storage

Battery technology is improving and is becoming more affordable. Some solar PV systems generate enough power to reduce demand for energy during the day – complimenting your system with battery storage could provide more bankable demand reduction when the intermittency of solar generation drops during cloud cover and overcast days.

Eventually, you may find your business operate almost entirely off-grid.

It’s an exciting time for the energy sector with so many technology advancements making private renewable energy power stations accessible and affordable for most businesses. With access to government funding and a custom-designed solar system to meet your current and future energy needs – you could benefit from major cost savings in years to come (without being at the mercy of our national network).

If you’re interested in having a discussion about your energy consumption and opportunities to reduce your costs and demand on the network – get in touch.

 

Source*: Preliminary Report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, Commonwealth of Australia 2016.

Source**: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, The State of Play: presentation to the Carbon Market Institute Summit, 3 May 2016.