Electricity used to be primarily produced by coal and other traditional methods, but over the last couple of decades the industry has grown to include a range of renewable options and forward-thinking innovations. If you would like to learn what the most affordable source of energy in Australia is, then this article details the growth of renewables, and compares a few of the most dominant producers in the sector. You will also find out some helpful power saving tips, so that you can conserve our precious energy and save some money in the process.
Why Renewable Energy Sources Are the Cheapest:
You may be surprised to find out that coal is not the cheapest new build energy source anymore – it has been overtaken by renewable forms of energy! Building a new solar or wind plant is cheaper than building a coal plant, which means they are starting to replace this traditional form of power production. There are several factors that have driven down the prices of building renewable energy plants, such as technological advances making them easier to create, and the growing interest in the environment triggering government initiatives and interested consumers.
It’s estimated that by 2030, renewable power will cost less than energy from existing coal plants as well, which will mean that low-carbon options will be the best choice for countries overall. This change is impressive and shows the true potential of clean energy, considering it’s occurring in a country with some of the best global fossil fuel resources.
Australia has the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent, which makes it the best source of solar energy in the world – but we are lagging behind other countries when it comes to building solar plants and focusing on this clean energy option. However, we have been experiencing substantial growth in various sectors as the benefits become more well-known.
About 20% of Australian households have made the switch to solar so far, with the amount of solar panels being installed gradually rising each year. Choosing solar power for your home has obvious benefits, as after the initial cost of installation, your power is free and will cover the other costs within 2-5 years. Large-scale solar farms are also becoming more common, and medium-scale solar has experienced rapid growth as well. Medium-scale solar has increased by 700% over the past five years, as shopping centres, schools and other commercial buildings make the change to renewable energy.
Wind energy is the cheapest large-scale renewable energy source in Australia, especially since technological advances have made wind turbines larger and more efficient. In 2019, wind energy produced 9.5% of Australia’s total electricity, and there were 101 wind farms across the country. This number continues to grow, as at the end of the year, 30 more farms were under construction or had been commissioned. Once built, wind energy is cheap and easy, and perfectly designed for WA, as it benefits from the strong westerly winds that come in across the southern coastline.
Hydro power plants have been providing renewable energy in Australia for decades, and it’s the largest source of renewable power in the country – in 2017 it was creating 40% of our total renewable energy. There are about 100 hydroelectric power stations across Australia, but most of them are located in the south east. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Australia is the driest inhabited continent on the planet, much of the hydro power has already been accessed. However, there are ideas for mini hydro schemes where energy will be harnessed ‘off-river’ instead of by using dams or reservoirs. If this was possible this cheap and simple energy could continue to grow, and more of the country could be like Tasmania – where most of their state electricity is generated by hydroelectric power stations.
Ways to Save Power in Your Home
With commercial premises and the government coming around to the extensive benefits of renewable energy, and the costs of solar, wind and hydro energy continually decreasing – it’s time for homeowners to choose the more eco-friendly and affordable choices as well. Options like solar are perfect for those looking to save loads of money in the long run. If you’re still looking to save some money on your power bill, then we also have a few other tips:
Invest in new appliances
- Switch off appliances at the wall
- Use fluorescent light bulbs
- Keep lids on pots when cooking
- Boil water in the kettle instead of on the stove
- Only wash clothes when you have a full load
- Close doors and close blinds to keep heat in
- Hang clothes up to air dry
How an Expert Electrician Can Help With Conserving Power
If you’re looking for ways to conserve power and save money, and considering renewable options for your energy, then an electrical contractor will be able to help you. Just get in touch with an electrician in Perth, and they can assess your situation and suggest energy-saving ideas that are specific to your needs. A qualified electrician can help you implement these changes as well, by installing new light bulbs and completing various other jobs which are safer for a professional to complete.