Powering a sustainable future: The undeniable benefits of solar energy.
The use of solar and renewable energy sources delivers significant environmental benefits. Small scale solar installed on domestic houses can significantly reduce power bills. These sources of energy are becoming increasingly popular because they are sustainable and cost-effective. Here are some of the top benefits of using solar and renewable energy.
Reduced carbon footprint: Solar and renewable energy sources such as wind, hydropower, and geothermal power do not emit carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas causing global warming. The use of these sources can help reduce the amount of harmful pollutants released into the air.
Cost-effective:Once installed, renewable energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines require very little maintenance. The sun, wind, and water are abundant and free, meaning energy from these sources is essentially free after the initial investment.
Energy independence: Solar and renewable energy sources can help individuals and organisations become less reliant on traditional sources of energy, such as fossil fuels.
Increased property value:Properties with solar panels installed have been found to have higher resale values than those without. This is because solar panels can help to lower energy costs and are viewed as a modern feature that attracts environmentally conscious buyers.
Versatility: Renewable energy sources can be used in a variety of applications and settings, including residential homes, commercial buildings, and large-scale industrial operations. Energy can be captured from various sources such as the sun, wind, or water, and converted into electricity or heat for use.
In conclusion, solar and renewable energy sources offer a wide range of benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, cost savings, energy independence, increased property value, and versatility. Governments, businesses and individuals alike are increasingly recognising these benefits and investing in renewable energy systems to address energy challenges while boosting economic growth.
Renewable energy sources accounted for 8% of Australian energy consumption in 2020-21. In 2021, 29% of Australia’s total electricity generation was from renewable energy sources, including solar (12%), wind (10%) and hydro (6%). The share of renewables in total electricity generation in 2021 was the highest on record, with the previous peak being 26% in the mid-1960s.
Solar and wind have been the primary drivers in more than doubling renewable generation expansion over the last decade. Small-scale solar generation grew 29% in 2021, and by an average of 28% per year over the last 10 years. Wind generation grew 19% in 2021 and by an average of 15% per year over the last decade. Hydro power output has fluctuated around a fairly consistent level according to rainfall and market conditions, losing predominance as generation sources diversified.
Recently, large-scale solar generation has begun rapid expansion. Large-scale solar generation has grown from negligible levels before 2016 to 4% of all Australian electricity generation in 2021, representing a five-year growth rate of 1,747%.
This figure shows Australian electricity generation from renewable sources in gigawatt hours from 1995-96 to 2020-21. Generation from renewables has increased 167% over the past decade. The composition of renewable energy in Australia has diversified significantly as wind and increasingly solar capacity has come online, with the share of hydro declining.