While Australia has long led the way in the development and uptake of solar-powered energy, a major limitation to its usefulness has been the problem of storage.
Recent developments in lithium-based batteries capable of being connected to the grid has meant a new round of interest in solar energy has emerged.
Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions (BREAZE) is presenting a public lecture “Adding Batteries to Solar” in conjunction with Federation University next week.
BREAZE is a community group of local people formed with the aim of promoting sustainable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaker Simon Reid, a member of BREAZE for ten years, will talk about the various ways in which the owners of solar panels might add to their energy storage with new battery technology, including the option of going fully "off-grid" - having no reliance on commercially-supplied electricity.
BREAZE member John Petheram says that Australia leads the world in per capita CO2 emissions and in the use of electricity generated from dirty coal.
“One area in which we shine is in our uptake of roof-top solar. Over 1.4 million families have installed solar panels, in efforts to reduce both power bills and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mr Petheram.
“This achievement by the Australian public has been despite the lowering or removal of incentives for installation of solar panels in all states in recent years. We can also boast well over nine million solar hot water units across the nation.”
The rapid spread of roof-top solar, visible on roofs across Ballarat, was stimulated by a 80 per cent drop in price of solar panels from 2008 to 2013. This in turn was driven by a major drop in price of lithium-based batteries, combined with the low rates for sale of solar electricity to the grid, and increasing energy prices - both gas and electricity.
“Adding Batteries to Solar” is being held at the Brewery Theatre at the SMB Campus of Federation University, Wednesday August 10, 6.00-7.15 pm.
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