Rooftop Solar Records: Overpowers Fossil Fuel Industry


In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable surge in the adoption of renewable energy sources, with rooftop solar taking centre stage in the global energy transition. As concerns about climate change and the finite nature of fossil fuels escalate, individuals and businesses increasingly turn to solar energy as a clean, sustainable, and cost-effective alternative. This transition has substantially impacted the traditional fossil fuel business as rooftop solar installations nibble into its once-dominant energy market share.

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Understanding fossil fuels vs solar energy

Are fossil fuels renewable?

What exactly does the term “renewable” mean? The term “renewable” refers to a resource that can replenish itself, whereas “nonrenewable” refers to a resource that is in limited supply.

Nonrenewable resources cannot be replaced at a sustainable rate. Non-renewable resources include fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, which cannot be replaced as quickly as consumed.

What are fossil fuels?

They are called fossil fuels because they emerge spontaneously over billions of years from the remains of ancient plants and animals. On the other hand, renewable energy resources can be utilised again without depletion or can be restored quickly. Renewable energy sources include the wind, the sun (solar energy), and water.

Australia has abundant renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, including solar energy. Our solar energy resources power our homes, electric vehicles, and industries, playing an important role in Australia’s economic growth.

coal vs solar

AEMO: Reduced operating demand as a result of increasing distributed PV output

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released its Quarterly Energy Dynamics report, which shows that in the second quarter of 2023, rooftop solar generation increased by 30% from the same period in 2022, which reduced electricity demand from the grid. This, coupled with higher renewable output, led to wholesale prices being zero or negative for 9% of the quarter, a new record.

AEMO update report 2023

Violette Mouchaileh, AEMO Executive General Manager of Reform Delivery, stated that less volatile market conditions, enhanced generating availability, and more renewable output put downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.

“In addition to increased wind and grid-scale solar output, lower thermal-coal costs and a net increase in black-coal generation availability in NSW – despite the retirement of the Liddell Power Station – helped reduce year-on-year wholesale prices.”

The decline in demand for fossil fuels is being felt most keenly by the gas industry. Gas generation fell by 3.2% in Q2 2023, while black coal generation fell by 0.6%. In contrast, rooftop solar generation rose by 1.8%, wind generation rose by 1.6%, and grid-scale solar generation rose by 1.4%.

pv vs gas aemo report

The rise of rooftop solar is a positive development for the environment. Solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy that does not produce greenhouse gases. As more and more households switch to solar, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector will decline.

The growing popularity of rooftop solar is also a positive development for consumers. Solar panels can save households money on their electricity bills and provide a sense of independence from the grid.

The rise of rooftop solar is a sign of the changing energy landscape. The fossil fuel industry faces increasing competition from renewable energy sources and will need to adapt to survive. The environment is also benefiting from the rise of rooftop solar, as it is a clean and renewable source of energy.

Is solar energy suitable for your business? Solar energy has numerous advantages that are worth investigating. Investing in solar will minimise your operational costs, reduce your company’s carbon footprint, and prepare it for the future. A commercial property with a solar installation is excellent for business.

When installing commercial solar for a company, it is crucial to be informed of all types of federal government solar rebates, incentives and the many benefits these provide, as they may help Australian businesses become future-ready and sustainable for years to come.

Contact us today for up to 3 FREE quotations from commercial solar firms we’ve pre-qualified and vetted for their track record of delivering Australia’s best business solar systems.

Advantages of solar energy over fossil fuel energy

  • Solar energy is clean and produces no emissions, while fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.
  • Solar energy is a renewable resource that will never run out, while fossil fuels are finite and will eventually be depleted.
  • Solar energy is relatively inexpensive to install and maintain, while fossil fuel power plants are more expensive to build and operate.
  • Solar energy can be used in remote areas where there is no access to the grid, while fossil fuel power plants require a centralised infrastructure.

Read more about coal, fossil fuel vs solar and renewable energy

Rooftop solar has emerged as a major disruptor in the energy sector, challenging the long-standing dominance of the fossil fuel industry. Its environmental benefits, energy independence, and positive economic impact have led to rapid installation growth worldwide. As rooftop solar becomes increasingly accessible and cost-effective, it will undoubtedly continue taking the biggest bite out of the fossil fuel industry’s energy, driving the global transition towards a cleaner, sustainable energy future.

Source&Images: AEMO Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q2 2023 and Media Release 27/07/2023, Australian Government-Geoscience Australia

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