The contribution solar energy has made in combating the effects of the current heatwave is significant.
The Australian Solar Council has found that at their peak on Wednesday, solar panel systems were contributing the following as a percentage of state electricity use:
– 9.41% in South Australia
– 9.13% in Western Australia
– 8.64% in Queensland
– 2.80% in Victoria
– 3.59% in New South Wales
The value of this power was not only in the quantity, but also in its timing; with peak production between 2:30pm-5:00pm – a timeframe when demand is high. This helped to rein in wholesale pricing which has reached staggering levels at times and possibly reduced the number of blackouts and load shedding that may have otherwise occurred.
Load shedding and blackouts are not only inconvenient and can cause significant economic losses; the often sudden nature of these events can also be dangerous.
“As a community we should be congratulating those people who have made a significant personal investment in installing solar PV, which is now paying dividends for the entire community,” said John Grimes, Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council.
“Because solar PV produces electricity where it is used and does not need vast network infrastructure, the power that is produced is all being used to best effect, which adds up to a big saving for solar.”
“In a country like Australia where 1 in 100 year heat waves are becoming more frequent, solar is the perfect solution” said Mr. Grimes. “We expect more and more Australians to invest in solar PV systems to take control of their own energy future.”
While some states are yet to feel any relief from the heat, it’s reassuring to know that millions of solar panels are quietly working away delivering clean energy and helping to keep the lights and cool on indoors for many.