Although Australia is a plentiful country with an abundance of natural resources at its disposal, it is relatively new to the renewable energy scene. With a traditional economy that leans heavily on the resources sector, Australian energy consumption trends have been reliant mainly on fossil fuels, namely coal, oil, natural gas and oil shale.
Gaining Momentum with Wind and Solar Energy
A quick glance at the 2014 list of states & territories by carbon dioxide emission can give you an idea of Australia’s impact on the global environment. These statistics show that Australia was one of the top five nations in CO2 emission per capita in 2014. Many would expect a different scenario from an island nation blessed with long sunlight hours and windswept plains. Evidently, climate change awareness and worldwide trends to increase renewable energy usage have slowly taken effect. Australia is now on board and indeed, 2015 statistics paint a more promising picture presenting a clear increase in renewable energy production and usage in Australia.
While in previous years renewable energy accounted for 13.5% of the country’s electricity, in 2015 the numbers rose to 14.6%. Wind and solar energy usage also increased by over 20% in 2015, signifying a dramatic leap for the two clean sources that support hydropower – a central energy source in Australia. Five new wind farms and eight new solar farms were completed in 2015 while rooftop solar power increased thanks to reduced tariff rates.
Sometimes Looks Do Matter
According to reports, current rooftop power generation in Australia is enough to power all homes in the cities of Brisbane and Perth for a 12-month period, but there is still place for improvement. One common belief is that the unappealing aesthetics of solar panels discourage many people from adopting the solar solution in their own homes. This has led to several projects attempting to produce designer solar panels and roof tiles. Inventions in this field span from flexible solar panels to Spanish styled solar roof tiles with many other creative solutions in between. As the trend strengthens the variety continues to grow.
It’s encouraging to witness the shift towards renewable energy in Australia and refreshing to see big businesses taking environmental initiative all over the world.