A recent news article in the Australian Financial Review showcased two very important points in emerging trends in the solar power industry in Australia:
- The design, development, marketing and installation of solar power systems is no longer a small-scale fringe industry, thanks largely in part due to consumer interest; and
- >Newer models of solar power financing, greater flexibility in payment options and methods that are suited to different kinds of consumers – from the small outback family to the massive commercial business – are helping promote the popularity of solar power systems like never before.
The writing on the wall seems pretty clear: solar power systems are here to stay, and they are more than just the flavour of the week – they are a way to return to sustainable way of life for a large majority of consumers.
And contrary to previous years, it is fast becoming accepted that solar power systems and installation methods are not just emerging technologies anymore, but are an established concern in the Australian government’s national priority list from 2008 onwards.
Solar Power Systems: High Jumping to Meet Australia’s Energy Demand
We have already looked at the top five reasons why the popularity of solar power systems has increased steadily in Australia since the 1990s – when the technology first began to be commercialized – so the fact that solar power systems are becoming the go-to solution for grid-related electricity problems should come as no surprise.
In fact, the Australian government has said that primary solar consumption has seen a roo-like leap with an average increase of 22% per year since 2006-07. The bulk of solar power installation and consumption has been in homes, meaning that at the end of the day, it’s the individual Australian consumer who holds the power to make a conscious decision about the future of energy production. And, the push is clearly towards renewable sources, especially solar energy.
Of the Consumer, For the Consumer, By the Consumer
The interesting part fact about the solar power revolution is that it seems to be driven by informed and knowledgeable consumers who are both cost and environmentally conscious, and not by government policies. And because of this, while there has been government support when it comes to promoting solar power installation and use in the country, the core of the movement is, and has always been, the Australian consumer.
Take for instance, these very telling graphs and infographics from the Australian Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism’s Energy in Australia: May 2013 report on the state of energy research, development and use in the country:
Until 2011-2012, the consumption of energy produced through renewable sources has been rising, and rising well.
Some would say though, that the production of electricity through renewable sources has been slow, especially since the demand for solar power systems itself has shown a whopping 95.2% increase in the last five years, meaning that 11% of the population, or 2.6 million Australians are now using solar power in their homes. We’ve previously talked about how solar power is the people’s choice.
But, what do these statistics mean for the future? That is of course, the priceless question, and where the will of the well-informed and knowledgeable consumer comes in. According to this graph from the same report outlining the use of renewable energy to fuel various sectors, it becomes obvious that more and more Australian consumers are looking to switch to solar as their primary means of electricity, especially for homes and businesses.
This enthusiasm for clean energy, including solar power, shows no sign of waning in the future. In fact, the trend seems to point in the opposite direction – renewable energy systems like solar power are poised to help make a massive change in the way Australia will generate and use energy in the future.
As you can see, with the potent combination of consumer choice and government responses to those demands is changing Australia’s energy map for the better. The recently-defunct Climate Commission predicted that by 2050 about 29% of Australia’s total energy demand could be met by solar energy if the current push towards solar power continues.
Looking at the trends above, we are inclined to say that this is almost a certainty.
Why So Much Love for Solar?
Australia’s renewable energy consumers are a knowledgeable and savvy bunch – this much we know already. It’s also quite obvious that the average Australian consumer has an eye fixed firmly towards the future of energy production – not just in this country alone, but in the world as well.
While factors like having tremendous amounts of sunlight and the technologies to harness this energy play a huge role in allowing the switch to solar, the fact remains that without consumer willingness, the impact of solar power in Australia’s energy market would not have been so strong.
It seems that the unique position of the Australian consumer deserves a closer analysis, which is what we look at here . Love for the sun is built into our country’s psyche, and this commitment towards a sustainable future is something that is paying off with great dividends in the solar power market.
Consumers Are the Driving Force
This enduring enthusiasm for the solar power also has some major benefits for consumers. For one, it is encouraging the government to take a closer look at its energy policy as a whole, including the subsidisation of non-renewable sources of energy like coal, oil and natural gas.
Then, it’s also channelling better research and development efforts, to ensure that solar power systems and the technologies behind them are longer lasting and as efficient as possible. Even more so, the solar power industry has finally stepped out of the shadows and into the sunlight, with much higher production and manufacturing efforts in the last decade alone.
On the flip side though, concerns such as the price of installation and quality of products has led to fears that the solar power industry is rising too quickly and too sharply. Take a look at our handy guide to avoid common equipment and brand pitfalls while buying solar power systems , and of course, contact us for some solid advice on finding the right solar power system for you.