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Solar energy will provide viable energy future

14th Oct 2011

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) have responded to a report in The Australian which claims that solar power systems are testing the capacity of the electricity grid.

Contrary to this, one of the country's peak renewable energy bodies argues that the government will be able to implement grid upgrades and that solar energy is far from being the issue.

BZE says: "With a glance at the success stories that champion solar PV in other countries, it's immediately evident that the problem does not lie with solar technology, but with inadequate planning and investment in the grid."

The organisation believes that government needs to plan for dramatic increases in the amount of electricity that will be generated by household solar power systems, as more and more Australians install panels on their rooftops.

BZE executive director Matthew Wright says: "Increased rooftop solar is no different from building roads and sewage infrastructure to keep up with new suburbs. Governments must invest in the infrastructure Australians need."

"Australians shouldn't have to sacrifice the energy independence they get from rooftop solar. The only reasonable response is for governments to get on with the job and plan for the solar boom."

Wright believes that solar power's popularity will only increase in the coming years and will assist the country in turning away from emissions-intensive technologies such as coal-fired power.

He cites developments in Germany and Italy as supporters of his argument, saying: "European countries have coped with a much larger rollout of photovoltaics than Australia without limiting deployment".

The Australian government will likely need to implement upgrades to the existing system, however this has been long-predicted

Upgrades to distribution networks - as conducted by electricity suppliers - are often cited as a key cause of jumps in energy rate.

This simply gives everyday consumers another reason to install solar systems in their home, allowing them to generate their own energy and rely less on utilities companies.

Energy independence is a motivating factor for many homeowners who choose to make the switch to renewable solar energy.

There are also the environmental benefits, with solar power producing none of the emissions that result from traditional electricity generation methods.

Solar is on track to develop even further, with the Gillard government managing to pass the first round of Clean Energy Future bills through the lower house on Wednesday (October 12).

Contained within the legislation is a wealth of programs, funding initiatives and strategies to increase the level of clean energy infrastructure across the country.

Posted by Mike Peacock - Solar Correspondent

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