By Jane Wells
The prices of photovoltaic (PV) panels keep dropping, while the technology to harness the power of the sun keeps improving. In an article by CleanTechnica, it was discussed that the cost of solar power last year is 60% lower than what it was in 2011. In addition, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) discovered a new way to improve the conversion rate of the sun’s rays to electricity several days ago. Solar PV panels in the past are only able to convert about 20% of the sun’s wavelength to electricity. However, with the breakthrough of UNSW scientists, the conversion rate is now up above 40%.
With these facts in mind, Australian households seem convinced that the future of renewable energy lies in the power of the Sun. In a report by RenewEconomy, one in every five households in Australia has installed solar energy for their electricity and/or solar heating systems for their hot water. Three years ago, Australian households’ dependency on solar power was only at a mere 5%.
Queensland is among the top states in Australia that use solar panels on the roof, with 20% of families getting their share of electricity from the sun. New South Whales and the Australian Capital Territory were also on the list, with each having 10% of homes using solar energy. South Australia scored the highest on record, with 24% of families in the region using solar energy to power up their homes.
Here’s a graph that shows the proportion of homes that use solar electricity in Australia:
The worldwide demand for renewable power is constantly on the rise, while traditional sources of power are becoming sparser. Engineering company Sulzer Ltd.* believes that thermal solar power has amazing potential as a clean source of electricity. The company’s recent partnership with Unaoil may be to supply oil and gas companies in the Middle East with rotating equipment. However, Sulzer supplies pumps for solar facilities, so both companies’ partnership may expand to clean energy in the future. If such expansion in their partnership happens, both companies will serve as examples to the world on how a traditional oil and gas company could benefit from renewable energy.
Solar power is a great source of energy, since the sun will always come out in the morning to provide heat. If only more families would install solar panels in their homes, ending the energy crisis would be within arm’s reach.
About the Author: Jane Wells is a writer and mother and wife. She’s been writing since the age of 11, and her other interests are baking, quilting, and outdoor sports.
*Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Sulzer Ltd.