Looking back on 2023, it has been phenomenal to see how Australia has tracked with renewable energy uptake. Rooftop solar boomed, yet again, and the adoption of battery storage has been overwhelming and encouraging. Electric vehicle uptake and the makes and models reaching our shores were truly wonderful to see. Investment into large-scale solar, wind, and battery storage travelled steadily. Though, we would love to see more projects given the green light in 2024.
This coming year holds so much potential and exciting opportunities. I thought I would give you some insight into how Australia is tracking, what I would love to see change, and what is in store for Energy Matters in 2024.
Residential solar matters
The final figures for 2023 have been published by SunWiz and it was another bumper year for residential solar. 2022 added 310,352 new systems to Aussie rooftops and 2023 finished with 336,344 installations, which is a remarkable increase.
What I will be looking to see implemented this year is the greater adoption of high-wattage panels (450W+), PERC technology, split cells, solar tiles, and the use of micro-inverters where required. Australian suburbs are cramming as many houses as possible into new subdivisions. This means that shading from your neighbour’s home is now more likely. Couple this with architecturally designed roofs with limited space for solar panels and the average Aussie may now be looking at the need to adopt alternative technology to accommodate these challenges. Traditional roofs call for traditional systems, but tradition is making way for new design and technological challenges.
I highly encourage anyone with shading and limited roof space to explore the technology available through Enphase (micro-inverters), GoodWe (solar tiles and highly efficient string inverters for up to 3 roof directions), Sungrow (highly efficient string inverters for up to 4 roof directions), and high performance/high wattage solar panels from REC, LONGi, and SunPower Maxeon.
Battery storage on the move
Battery storage is finally super affordable and also allows for expansion with lots of great modular units on the market. This allows for a small unit to start with and adding more modules as required. Not only are they very easy to install and add to, but the initial outlay and investment are more affordable.
Modular batteries are available from the following recommended manufacturers:
Excess energy stored in your battery can now be monetised by enrolling in a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Guaranteed annual returns are offered by Origin Loop, helping offset the investment of the battery and providing additional incentives, such as a better feed-in tariff. This is a great way of participating in a VPP with low fuss, no lock-in contracts, and a great financial return.
My hope is that more Aussies with existing solar systems will consider battery storage this year. Electricity and gas prices continue to go up, with no reprieve in sight. Battery storage is one way for Aussies to take back control of their expenses.
Electric vehicles (EVs) changing Australia’s automotive landscape
EVs are here to stay and are the future. Where Tesla once cornered the EV market, more and more manufacturers are entering with their own hybrid or full BEV models. Starting from $40k and going all the way up to luxury models, there’s an EV available for most Australian individuals, families, and lifestyles. While some incentives and rebates have ended, there are still generous federal and state programs available to help Australians make the switch.
For those who live in apartments, rentals, or homes without the means to have a charger, there is a growing number of public charging options and charging networks available.
If a new vehicle is on the cards in 2024, I encourage you to seriously consider an electric vehicle. MG offers Australians all the benefits of an EV at a very affordable price, whilst Volvo offers great mid-range models and BMW and Jaguar services the premium corner of the market. You can read and watch our reviews here: MG, Volvo, BMW, and Jaguar.
Electrification is the very real future for all Australians
Electrification of the home is experiencing a huge push both federally and primarily by most state governments. Incentives and rebates are ongoing for heat pumps, air conditioning, refrigeration, as well as lighting, to name a few. Australia’s push away from gas is an important one. Electrification of the home provides Australians with a practical way to control the cost of running their home whilst heavily reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Making the right choices from the start: New smart builds
For renovations or new builds, so many energy-efficient ways and strategies exist to electrify and build sustainably. Start the process with a smart build. Select a builder who will consider orientation and layout, materials, insulation, natural lighting, windows and doors, etc. Having a 7+ energy-rated home will keep your energy consumption lower from day one and reduce the amount of renewable energy technology your home needs.
While many changes have been made to building regulations to increase energy efficiency, the buck stops with the choices YOU make. As recently reported, the simple choice to go with a light-coloured roof, rather than a dark one, will reduce not only your heating and cooling needs but reduce community heat emissions.
TV shows helping Australians make better choices
Watch our TV shows this year as we showcase the latest technology, home design and techniques being used to achieve net zero:
- Renovate or Rebuild – commences March 2nd
- Open Homes Australia – Late March
- Energy Matters’ own TV show, Energy Matters, is in pre-production and currently identifying new technology, incredible homes and businesses, and projects to showcase. If you would like your business featured on this new and exciting show, enquire here.
All-in-all, all of us here at Energy Matters are incredibly excited about where Australia is heading this coming year. Our new TV show will help Aussies understand the available technology available in Australia, as well as provide important information and advice to make an informed decision.
I thank you all for helping Australia move towards a zero-carbon future!