We hear more and more about the growing home solar trend, because solar panel costs have dropped dramatically in recent years. We typically don’t get as much information about businesses that are using solar power too.
Recently the Australian Clean Energy Council published some information about the huge number of local businesses employing solar power.
“Businesses have now invested almost $460 million in solar power systems across the country, helping them to collectively save about $64 million on their bills every year,” said CEC’s acting chief executive Kane Thornton.
“There is an increasing recognition that the current modest support provided by the RET means the business case for solar power makes sense, helping businesses become more competitive in tough economic conditions.”
The CEC’s research and information is important because businesses are not investing in solar to be ‘green’ only. They do it because it makes economic sense. Solar power is becoming something of a force in both the consumer and business realms.
If Australian businesses can find ways to save money, and $64 million a year at that, it is only reasonable that they do so.
We are still in a period of economic recovery. Investing in new technology may seem especially risky because of the fear of failure. It might seem more attractive as well, because the return-on-investment over time appears to be quite favorable.
Supporting new industries also can produce many new jobs. Renewable energy in Australia supports over 20,000 people. There is also a sense of collaboration created when businesses support each other.
Australian businesses have invested $458 million dollars so far in solar power.
The Australian continent also has an excellent solar potential, “Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world (GA-ABARE, 2010) (Figure 5). The solar radiation falling on Australia each year is about 10,000 times the entire nation’s annual energy consumption (GA-ABARE, 2010). This is a vast source of renewable energy.”
In 2013, about 87% of Australia’s electricity was generated by fossil fuels. The potential is there for a huge energy transition and with the involvement of businesses it can happen more quickly. They might lead the way if legislators and key politicians are unwilling to do so.