Australian news, and some related international items

Australia eclipsed in commercial solar uptake  Reece Turner, 27 Aug 2017, Australia is seeing a new boom in solar energy generation powered by nose-bleeding electricity and gas price rises. In fact, Australian households are approaching 25 per cent solar uptake, which is the highest in the world by a large margin.

In Illawarra, there are 11,259 households powered by the sun and, according to advocacy group Solar Citizens, this saves residents $5.4 million every year. This is great for job creation and the environment.

However, when it comes to businesses installing solar power, Australia’s doing far worse. Estimates are we’re not even in the top 20 countries for commercial solar.

Community energy group Repower and solar engineering company Planet Ark Power hope to change that by helping more companies in Illawarra to take up solar.

This month, at the Wollongong Tennis Club, we’ll be launching “Repower Wollongong”. This follows successful launches of Repower Shoalhaven and Repower Southern Highlands. Indeed, this model of community energy group is one of the most successful in the country, assisting 17 businesses save thousands on their bills.

Many businesses are interested in going solar, but there are some hurdles. One of them can be the upfront costs. A commercial solar system generates free energy for 25 or 30 years, but the initial investment can be anything from $20,000 upwards.

The Repower community energy model removes this hurdle by collecting community investment that pays for the system upfront and then sells the clean energy back to the business at a rate cheaper than grid electricity and with a degree of certainty against rising energy hikes.

It’s a brilliant model delivering returns to the community, helping save on business costs and supporting local jobs. Find out more at

Reece Turner is business development manager at Planet Ark Power.


August 28, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, solar

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