March 6, 2016
Many houses are adapting themselves to have solar panels. Not as a backup but as a centralized electricity grid. Does this indicate that in future all houses can run on solar energy and there will be no need for the electric grid? The question is debatable.
Solar power is definitely booming. With a little bit of support, the technology is going to rule the world. Professor Newman has a great view about this for us. He works at the Curtin University of Perth.
Solar power is not an evolving technology. It has already evolved. But is it sufficient enough to support the number of power systems we have at home? The city of Perth is a standing example of what distributed solar power can do. This new phenomenon is referred as citizen utilities.
It is estimated that since 2010 more than 22 percent of the homes in Perth have adopted to solar power. That is more than 190,000 systems that have been installed. Approximately, 530 MW power has been generated and this is currently the largest power station in Australia. The number of people that is moving on to solar power is increasing b 20 percent every year. More than 1.5 million households in Australia have adopted to solar power and by 2031, 18,000 MW power will be produced solely by solar panels.
Most of the sales in solar systems have happened in large families where the electricity bill is also proportionately higher. More than 50 percent of the houses in Australian suburbs run on solar power.
Therefore, in future grids will be designed in such a way that the users should be able to generate their own power and manage excess electricity. This concept is called as “citizen utilities”. Microgrids such as this will become more feasible to move electricity and any payments associated with it.
Group housing building managers can take this up to implement this across their building and become local energy managers. In lifestyle villages and industrial estates, the owner can become the local utility. By doing this, we are certainly entering a citizen utility era.