Australia’s population is set to reach 30 million people sometime between 2029 and 2033, which is a large part of the reason why preparing for a sustainable future must begin now.
The Minerals Council of Australia has highlighted that generators providing 66 percent of low-cost baseload power will be retired between now and 2030, which means we have two options moving forward: build more coal-fired stations or explore more renewable options.
Can renewable energy replace fossil fuels? The verdict hasn’t quite been solidified but there are many reasons why Australian residents and businesses should be looking towards renewable options before 2030, for reliable and affordable power.
It is cheaper in the long run to buy solar power than coal-fired power
In 2016, two coal-fired power stations were decommissioned in South Australia.
The retirement of the plants at Port Augusta and Playford means there are no longer any coal-fired generators in the state, because they had become significantly unsustainable.
Renewable energy solutions such as wind and solar had caused wholesale power prices to plummet as more and more residents and businesses turned to utilise these options instead.
Meanwhile, severe storms caused all of South Australia to lose power that same year – which was unfairly blamed on the closure of the power plants. In truth, a major weather event saw two tornados destroying three elements of critical infrastructure that meant the system went into shutdown mode to protect itself.
With several more coal-fired plants set to be retired as the Australian population grows, renewable options will become cheaper options for business moving forward.
Following the closure of the two South Australian plants in 2016, there was a perceived threat of supply to the Eastern Seaboard and wholesale prices soared 300 percent as a result. In essence, solar provides a more stable price, less volatility and cheaper power in the long run.
Even if you borrowed money for a large-scale solar installation, interest rates in Australia are presently so low that you would still be paying less than you would for wholesale energy.
Power Purchase Agreements allow you to lock in affordable prices for the long term
Most wholesale energy contracts are only a couple of years long and the price is volatile. For example, you might be locked into a three-year contract where you are paying 25 cents per kilowatt-hour.
By sourcing your energy through a commercial energy consultant – like Utilizer – you can lock in a 10-15 year renewable deal where you are only paying 11-15 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Australia’s Government has committed to renewable energy
As part of our commitment towards the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Australia will reduce emissions to 26-28 percent on 2005 levels by 2030.
A large part of meeting this target is an increase in solar and wind productivity, with the Federal Government’s Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) meaning that at least 33,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020.
As part of this, there are two major government initiatives to assist business tap into renewable energy.
Firstly, high energy users will be required to source a fixed proportion of their energy from renewable sources under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET). Secondly, small businesses can tap into the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), which offers financial incentives to install rooftop solar, solar water heaters and heat pumps.
By working with Utilizer, they will introduce you to the smarter way to invest in renewable energy – capital cost free solar installation. We can source agreements with providers that install solar panels for you today whilst securing a PPA that allows you to pay lower prices for renewable energy now and well into the future.
Contact us on 1300 180 616 today to get started.