Solar panels the key to meeting demand25th Aug 2011
A report by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has shown that the sunshine state risks an electricity shortfall if it is unable to implement necessary infrastructure in time.
CCIQ predict a potential gap between demand and supply between 2014 and 2014 in a report titled An Efficient, Productive and Sustainable Electricity Supply for Queensland.
The inquiry aims to form the basis of a blueprint for future infrastructure development programs for the state's energy sector.
With medium growth, Queensland will reach a shortfall which will impact electricity supply and the overall reliability of service for consumers.
The report also highlights the flipside of the nation's recent mining boom and how it affects everyday consumers.
It states: "The cost of coal, gas and other fuel sources used to produce electricity has increased significantly over the past five years and will continue to increase into the future due to growing world demand for resources."
The report asserts that in 2008, 88 per cent of electricity generation comes from coal-fired power, a process which makes a significant contribution to carbon emissions pollution.
Gas-fired power accounted for ten per cent and perhaps most interestingly, renewable energy was responsible for only two per cent.
Starting from humble beginnings, solar power has seen adoption skyrocket in Queensland since 2008, with the country announcing last month (July 2011) that it has reached its solar energy target three years early.
The report addresses the potential for solar to contribute to the state's pressing energy needs by saying: "The opportunities we see for improved demand reduction and energy efficiency schemes that can deliver significant innovation, productivity and growth opportunities for Queensland if developed and deployed in partnership with the business community."
Whilst admitting that one single source of power isn't the answer, it does recommended further developments in renewable energy sources.
"There needs to be a comprehensive examination of all possible low-carbon emissions energy options. This then needs to be followed up by sufficient research funding and policy commitment to ensure that the optimal mix of energy sources are used in the new low carbon emissions environment."
Solar power has proven to be an excellent way of generating power in the home without the added cost to the environment of releasing pollutants.
Mass adoption of solar power by everyday households will inevitably lead to an increase in electricity independence - as homes are generating their own power, they are less reliant on the regional grid.
By Mike Peacock - Solar Correspondent