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As Australia moves to a low-carbon economy, renewable energy is fast becoming an integral part of sustainable living at home and the office.
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is often referred to as ‘alternate energy’ and is generated by sustainable sources, which unlike fossil fuels are inexhaustible. They come in the form of the following origins:
Solar Power being carbon-neutral electricity generated from sunlight or the sun’s heat via photovoltaic panels or a solar thermal system on the roof of your home, such as solar panels.
Wind energy which converts wind into electricity through the use of wind turbines. This is a pollution-free, 100 per cent renewable energy source and one wind turbine can power an entire house.
Micro Hydro Systems create electricity through a process that converts the flow of water into electrical energy. They are best suited to remote areas where there is a steady supply of water.
Hybrid systems combine various energy sources into a single power system, most commonly merging solar power with a wind generator.
Biomass is electricity derived from renewable plant sources or biological materials including dead trees, lawn clippings, specially harvested wood and even household waste.
Solar hot water can dramatically reduce your heating bills and environmental impact at the same time thanks to a flat plate with collector panels or evacuated tubes to absorb the heat from sunlight to heat water. Solar water heater technology is completely different to the photovoltaic grid connect system for solar panels.
Why Use Renewable Energy Sources?
The purpose of using renewable energy sources is that they cause far less – and in many cases zero – pollution, toxic waste and greenhouse gases, while also being increasingly affordable and efficient.
How is Australia Becoming Sustainable?
The Australian Government has been increasingly pro-active in its stance towards greener, cleaner energy:
- 2001: Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) program set up to increase uptake of renewable energy in Australia’s electricity supply
- 2007: the Government announces that by 2020, 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply will occur from renewable energy sources.
- 2010: the Rudd Government introduces two elements for the Renewable Energy Target:
– Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES); and
– Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).
How Can I Become Sustainable At Home?
It starts with the basic things first, like using less energy around the home. This can be as simple as turning off appliances at the wall, spending less time in front of the TV, and other things that won’t burn a hole in your pocket at the end of the bill cycle.
Some energy providers also now give you the option to go green with your bills so you can get your power from renewable energy sources.
Head to iSelect’s comparison tool to compare electricity rates and suppliers today and make the switch!