Australia dubbed global trailblazer in solar energy

by Helena Morgan
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Following a year in which homeowners have been particularly crippled by high inflation rates and economic uncertainty, many households are opting for solar energy as a tool with which to reduce energy bills and increase household appeal.

Australia is a global leader in harnessing the sustainable and cost-effective power of solar energy, as illustrated by the revelation in Clean Energy Australia’s 2023 report that 3.4 million houses nationwide are outfitted with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Such households enjoy an estimated electricity bill reduction of more than 40 percent – according to a Solar Victoria report from August, solar panels save the standard Victorian household almost $1080 on annual energy bills. 

Solar power carries both sustainable and resale benefits

Solar functions as a clean and safe energy source that converts sunlight into electricity to power a house or facility. Trina Solar’s head of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Edison Zhou explains that rooftop solar PV panels convert sunlight into electricity via a process of capture and release. 

“The panels capture sunlight, which causes electrons in the panel’s silicon cells to release energy that becomes direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter converts the DC into alternating current (AC) electricity, making it usable for homes and facilities,” says Zhou. 

Additionally, properties with solar systems are more desirable in the eyes of buyers – solar-powered properties sell almost 20 percent faster and at a 17 percent premium compared to non solar-powered homes. 

Comprehending solar panel output essential 

Trina Solar’s Australasian head emphasises that understanding solar panel output – measured in watts – is crucial, as the greater the wattage, the more electricity the panel is able to produce.

“A good target for residential solar panels is between 300W and 400W per panel, and above 21 percent efficiency,” says Zhou. 

Zhou says these targets are informed by varied factors such as budget, the house or facility’s energy usage and the space available on the roof for installation.

Embrace of solar energy normalises sustainable building practices

Zhou also strongly advises against selecting solar panels that lack Clean Energy Council (CEC) approval – this certification means the panels tick off certain safety, reliability and performance standards. 

“Numerous government rebates and incentives for solar installations require the use of CEC-approved panels, making it even more essential to check for this certification,” says Zhou.

The encouraging statistics from this year’s Clean Energy Australia report demonstrates an Australian eagerness to embrace sustainable practices such as solar energy. Zhou says the decision to go solar nurtures the energy landscape of the future. 

“As we become more proactive and informed in solar energy, it sets the stage for a future where sustainable energy is not just an option, but a norm,” concludes Zhou. 

Photography supplied by Trina Solar. 

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