You know when Senator Cory Bernardi installs solar in his home, it’s time to start taking it seriously. This month it was reported that arch climate sceptic Bernardi had installed a 12kw system on the roof of his home in Adelaide, but gave his reasoning as not wanting to be hostage to the vagaries of power in his home state, rather than any ‘road to Damascus’ type conversion to belief in climate change.
As he pointed out, you don’t need to be a climate change believer to understand the many other benefits that come from having the sun generating your power for you, not least some form of insurance against possible ‘brownouts’ and the ever rising cost of conventional electricity.
In fact Australia is embracing solar panels now at a rate not seen before – installations have hit their highest point in five years with 15,000 homes and businesses getting solar panels in one month this year (March).
Queensland is leading the charge, putting in 25 megawatts in March alone – enough to power 5,500 homes and businesses, and now in Queensland 30% of private houses have solar. At this rate of installation 30%-45% of total energy requirements in Australia will be met by ‘customer-owned generators’ (ie owners of residential and commercial premises) by 2050. And nearly all of this will be solar.
Although feed-in tariffs, that is the price at which electricity companies buy back electricity from owners of solar systems, have fallen, the cost of installing solar has fallen too, with the cost per kilowatt having gone down from 46c to 22c over the four years from 2010 to 2014.
And on the global stage Australia is in the top 5 countries in terms of total residential* solar power, trailing only China, Japan and the US in total capacity, with residential solar power in Australia currently accounting for 2.8% of all power generated.
Cory Bernardi’s not the only surprise – you wouldn’t have thought it from the manufacturers of two of the biggest gas guzzling cars in the world, but both Ferrari and Lamborghini have installed solar panel arrays to power their factories. Ferrari has a huge solar array that produces 213,895 kWh a year and is almost energy self sufficient and claims a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions – the equivalent of 40,000 tonnes as a result.
Lamborghini was first to move on solar, jumping on the bandwagon back in 2009 when it installed a 17,000 sqm solar array on its factory roof which generates 1,582 MWh a year and results in a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions every year.
Any discussion of renewable energy and electricity generation would not be complete without referencing Elon Musk and Tesla and – as you might expect – he announced last month that Tesla had produced a glass solar roof tile for people who’d like to generate electricity from the sun without having to install solar panels so obviously on their roofs.
He explained that the goal was to have ‘solar roofs that look better than normal roofs, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and actually have a cost, an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity’. You can order your new roof on the Tesla website – yes it’s available in Australia – for a downpayment of AUD$1,310, plus you get a lifetime guarantee on the roof tiles. Not bad!
So if the time is right for you to get solar panels for your business, get in touch with our team at Ezilend and we’ll sort out the finance for you. You’ll be saving money and the planet in no time!
*this refers to all ‘customer-owned generators’ ie it includes business and residential installations