Wednesday 24 July 2019
According to a report by the Australian Energy Market Operator and Energy Networks Australia, Australia is a world leader in adopting alternative energy resources, like solar panels and batteries.
In fact, Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive, Andrew Dillon said, "Australia has more rooftop solar per capita than anywhere else in the world.”
And while that may be great news to solar users across the country, the report also revealed that if the country integrated alternative power sources into the grid, it could mean $1 billion worth of energy benefits for customers by 2030.
But what do alternative power sources look like? And, an even better question, can you get them installed into your home?
To answer both questions, we decided to do some research about the different types of energy sources out there, besides standard electricity and solar power.
Many Aussies are bound to have heard of the ‘Snowy Hydro’ before, however, hydropower can also be used on a domestic scale to heat your home or to power your appliances, called micro-hydro. Hydropower, or hydroelectricity, is generated through water - water passes through a hydropower system, which spins a generator and produces electricity.
As you would’ve guessed by now, the effectiveness of hydropower relies solely on your access to running water, not to mention a stream of water strong enough to generate power.
But just because you live close to running water doesn’t mean you’re eligible to have a source of hydropower installed in your home. So if you do think you may be able to have it installed, get in touch with a hydropower installer for an expert opinion. Things like seasons, your location and access to a stream of water are all important factors.
Aside from being an incredible sight when driving through remote areas, wind turbines can produce a decent amount of electricity. In 2017 alone, 5.7% of Australia’s overall electricity generated came from wind power. Wind energy is produced when wind spins the blades of the turbines, which are connected to a generator and creates an electric current.
One of the great things about wind turbines is that they can be installed in both rural areas and regular suburbs. However, similar to having hydropower installed, you’ll need to be in an area with strong winds in order for your turbine to power your home.
There are many different types of turbines on the market, they mainly differ in the amount of voltage that’s able to be stored. Unlike massive wind turbines you may see from time to time, domestic turbines are much smaller versions and be mounted on roofs.
Solar goes beyond just supplying your household with electricity, it can even be harnessed to warm or cool your home! In the case of a solar heater, the heater soaks up the sun’s rays to heat your water supply and is used when you shower or need hot water from your tap.
Solar air conditioning works the same way as solar water heating in that it warms hot water, the only difference here is that the hot water is used in your air conditioning.
Both of these are a great option for Aussies who don’t want to fully commit to solar panels, but still want to save on their energy bill.
But regardless of the type of renewable energy source you pick for your home, you’re still going to need an energy provider that offers a solar plan. You can use our energy comparison tool to compare some of the renewable energy plans in your area.