Technology must embrace new solar installations

Solar technology must be up to the job 171 90967 0 14064657 300

Solar technology has seen its popularity rise across many parts of Australia, but is the electricity grid ready to cope with these new installations?

Experts based at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre at The University of Western Australia believe a number of challenges lie ahead and it's important for them to be embraced.

Study author Bill Grace explained that the falling cost of solar PV systems is likely to give rise to more installations, potentially leading to a tenfold rise in private solar capacity by 2025.

It's not just homeowners that are taking steps to reduce their electricity bills either, as companies are also shown to be embracing the idea of a more efficient future.

"While private solar has grown mainly in the residential sector to date, rapid take-up by businesses will likely follow and those systems will be much larger and could eventually be double the capacity of residential systems," said Professor Grace.

Researchers anticipate widespread network disruption unless the electricity service is modified to make the most of carbon-free energy.

A situation has emerged where the industry is being forced to compete with its customers, which is why policies will need to be addressed to ensure it can continue to thrive.

"Lower emissions and lower total energy costs are positive outcomes for society and should be embraced, not resisted," noted Professor Grace.

A report from ARENA suggests that government policy settings should play a greater role in ensuring the security of the global energy market and especially solar power.

It urges for the development and commercialisation of solar energy across the country, while encouraging the establishment of more large-scale solar power stations.

If these opportunities are embraced, solar energy usage across Australia is expected to expand at a rate of 5.9 per cent per year until 2029-30.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott