- solar energy is one of the most important forms of renewable energy because it is a vastly available clean energy resource.
- Australia receives the highest radiation per square meter and is one of the best places to develop solar energy resources.
- While developments are fostering well across the continent, but expansion of technologies, granting more subsidies, and encouraging the adoption of these sources remains vital.
In many cultures, the sun is perceived as God because it is the primary source of heat and light on earth. The radiation that the sun emits provides heat and light by fusing hydrogen into helium at its core. Perhaps solar energy is one of the most important forms of renewable energy because it is a vastly available clean energy resource.
Currently, there is a need to install and embed efficient solar power plants into different business realms to convert the radiation into useful energy. Once this is done, then the fuel is free for life.
The amount of radiation received by the earth’s surface in merely a few hours can provide energy to the entire world for months. This energy could be used for several commercial and industrial purposes without causing almost any harm to our environment.
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Decoding Australia’s relationship with solar energy
Australia receives the highest radiation per square meter. The continent is one of the best places for solar energy resources. The amount of solar radiation that Australia receives is 10,000 times higher than its total energy consumption. On average, it receives 58 million PJ of solar radiation.
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Impressively, solar, thermal, and photovoltaic technologies are substantially improving in Australia.
A study released by The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology brought to notice that Australia’s government-owned Airports are the ideal places for solar power plant installation. 1.3 million homes can receive power if solar panels are installed on Airports’ rooftops. This will play a significant role in achieving its “net-zero emissions” goal.
Installation of solar plants on airport roofs is going to be a much more efficient way for the generation of power through solar energy. According to The Journal of Building Engineering, the town of Bendigo has 17,000 residential solar panels. If 21 federal airports of the town are used for solar panels installation, then they would produce 10 times more electricity than 17,000 residential plants. This may further help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15.6 Kilotons a year.
It should be noted that airport roofs are most efficient for solar panels because they are not surrounded by tall buildings and trees, thus, they receive complete sun exposure. This makes airports an ideal place for solar energy panels.
Dr. Chayn Sun, a Geospatial Scientist in RMIT believes that harnessing this power source would avoid 63 kilotons of coal being burned in Australia each year. This will be an important step towards a zero-carbon future.
Recent developments in the continent
The government-owned water utility in Australia has recently completed its substantial solar installation project. Under this project, more than 350,000 PV panels have been installed across 33 water treatment plants and pump stations across regions of Southern Australia. This project is manifested under the “zero-cost energy future initiative.”
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Under this project, SA Water has established the world’s largest fully moveable solar array at its Happy Valley Reservoir. This provides drinking water to more than 40% of total SA Water customers around metropolitan Adelaide.
The Australian National University report says that renewable energy in Australia is expanding at a per capita rate ten times faster than the world average. Various solar panel recycling plants have been installed. The first one is up and running in Thomastown, Melbourne.
Notably, Australia is expanding its horizons for solar energy.
GlobalData says that Australia will hit the solar capacity to 80GW by 2030. The report also says that solar installation will increase by a factor of four to reach the target of 80GW. GlobalData analyst Aditya Sharma has said that Australia is planning to compensate for the decline in thermal and hydropower capacity with renewable power capacity growth. The growth rate of 18.4% of renewable energy in Australia is double the average global growth rate.
Our future clearly depends on our ability to utilise solar and other renewable sources of energy. Expanding technologies, granting more subsidies, and encouraging the adoption of these sources will be imperative for a cleaner and greener future.