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Why Queensland is Perfect for Solar Energy

Posted on 8 October 2012

So you’ve been thinking about investing in a photovoltaic solar energy system but are not sure whether or not you can generate enough energy from the sun for your needs? Well thankfully, if you are fortunate enough to call Queensland home, there is not a better place on this planet to be collecting the sun’s energy for your own power consumption.

What is Photovoltaic?

The word photovoltaic (PV) is comprised of two root terms: Photo, which comes from “photon” and refers to “light”, and Voltaic which comes from “Volt” and refers to the unit of measure for electric potential. Basically, PV systems use cells to harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. PV cells, also known as solar panels, are silent, non-polluting generators that utilise a renewable and free source of energy.

So Just How Much Sun Do We Get Here?

A couple of years ago the government of Queensland, in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Climate Initiative, commissioned Parsons Brinckerhoff to develop the Queensland Concentrating Solar Power prefeasibility report. The primary purpose of the report was to determine the feasibility of deploying solar power plants on a grand scale in Queensland. The results of the study clearly showed that Queensland’s solar resources (quality and quantity) are superior to that of the top solar regions in the world, i.e., Nevada in the United States and Granada in Spain.  Large-scale solar generation has already been proven to be commercially viable in those regions. It has long been known that Australia has the highest solar radiation (per square metre) of any continent in the entire world.

Will It Be There When I Need It?

As you might guess, the amount of energy coming from the sun does vary by season, although the variation is quite minimal in Queensland, especially compared to other parts of the world. Thankfully this seasonal variation, albeit minimal, correlates directly with peak demand periods. Air conditioning loads cause the greatest demand for electricity by far. Luckily for us, this coincides with the time that the sun’s resources are at their most abundant – so you’ll have access to solar power when you need it the most.

Queensland Hailed as ‘Super State’

A recent report from Queensland’s Climate Commission claims that Queensland is a renewable energy ‘super state’. The report reveals that the output of the state’s solar energy has doubled over the previous two years. Queensland’s installed solar photovoltaic capacity is the largest in Australia and comes in at over 475 megawatts. Today, over 200,000 households and businesses in Queensland have solar panels installed.

Why Should I Care?

Besides all the money that you can save, converting to clean and renewable energy from the sun is good for the planet. Queensland’s Climate Commission’s report also pointed out that the state has ‘significant vulnerabilities’ relative to sea level rises. Approximately 85 per cent of Queenslanders live on or near the coast and climate experts expect the global sea level to rise by 50cm to 100cm by 2100. Alarmingly, in the Torres Strait, the sea level is rising at a rate of 6mm a year, which is twice the global average.

So whether you simply want to rid yourself of huge, growing bills from the power company or you are looking to help the planet, converting to solar power really is a no brainer if you live in Queensland. Talk to a professional today and then put pencil to paper and you will likely find that your return on your investment will happen quicker than you thought possible.

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