Australians warming to solar panels15th Aug 2011
Solar panel systems have seen a surge in popularity in recent years and that is only set to continue as technological developments improve their efficiency.
There are a number of great reasons to install solar panels, though they largely boil down to the positive impact on the environment and the reduction in household electricity bills.
Australians are becoming more and more environmentally conscious, especially in regards to the amount carbon emissions they are responsible for releasing into the atmosphere every day.
Solar panel technology can make a huge difference by reducing our reliance on traditional coal-fire power.
The production of electricity in large-scale power plants is emissions-intensive, as highlighted by the Gillard government's campaign to promote its new carbon tax scheme.
By harnessing the power of the sun at home, solar panels can provide a sustainable alternative for well into the future.
Renewable energy will reduce the impact of energy production on the planet at large, so adoption in the home makes a great deal of sense.
Aside from the environmental advantages, solar panel technologies also offer great financial incentives for the average Australian household.
As they generate their own energy, households are less reliant on power from the grid and this can reduce the cost of domestic electricity bills.
Feed-in tariffs are available in many areas across Australia and offer consumers the opportunity to be paid for the excess power they generate and direct into the regional grid.
Utilities companies will pay a set price per kilowatt hour and in some cases, houses can expect to earn more than the total cost of their usage.
This is particularly relevant as electricity prices can only be expected to increase in the coming years.
Power plants and utilities companies that choose to implement green technologies will inevitably see an increase in infrastructure costs.
The cost of major changes to their systems and equipment will be passed on to the consumer and necessitate an increase in the price of electricity.
Essentially, consumers are likely to pay comparatively more than those who offset their energy usage with solar panels.
Australia's solar future should also be buoyed by the government's recent announcement of billions of dollars in funding for research and development into solar technologies.
Consumers can see the benefits today by installing solar panels on their rooftops, ensuring they have a viable source of renewable energy for decades to come.
By Mike Peacock - Solar Correspondent