Companies keen to generate their own energy

Taking action against rising electricity prices is high on the agenda for many businesses at the moment, but what methods are they using to achieve it?

Aside from carrying out an electricity comparison to find the most affordable deal, there's evidence to suggest that a growing number of companies are choosing to generate their own power. Going off-grid means firms can take responsibility for their own energy, while avoiding price increases in the process.

A recent report from the Australia Institute, titled Power down II: The continuing decline in Australia's electricity demand, found that firms are becoming more innovative with their electricity generation. Solar PV has been one of the most popular choices, as have gas-fuelled cogeneration strategies.

One of the main appeals of generating power off-grid is the financial benefits it can deliver.

Solar panels lead the charge

There are some parts of the country that have embraced solar power more than others, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate. South Australia had the highest number of solar panel installations in the country last year, followed by Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria.

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) estimates that as many as 3.1 million Australians either lived or worked in buildings powered by solar in 2013, a figure that's likely to have increased ever since. The CEC stressed that there's a strengthening case for solar PV use by businesses, and the latest data seems to indicate that more of them are taking notice.

Other options for renewable energy generation

Although solar is perhaps one of the most accessible means of generating power, there are other methods available to the nation's companies. Among them is wind energy, which is largely seen as an untapped resource across Australia.

However, progress is being made. Future Energy estimates that more than 1,000 megawatts of wind energy is currently being installed across the country, while an additional 6,000 megawatts is in the planning stages. This is sufficient enough to meet 80 per cent of Adelaide's domestic consumption rate.

Solar panels have seen a popularity surge.Solar panels have seen a popularity surge.

Why are companies turning to renewable power?

One of the main appeals of generating power off-grid is the financial benefits it can deliver. The Australia Institute pointed out that businesses can avoid the need to purchase electricity, while also keeping management costs to a minimum.

Significant progress has been made in helping companies recognise their energy efficiency ambitions, but the challenge now is to make sure this can be sustained. With electricity prices on the up, firms may well find themselves branching out into more innovative means of power generation.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott