It was only a few years ago that South Australians were plunged into darkness as the electricity grid fell silent due to damaging storms and winds. These high winds caused a mass power blackout that resulted in a huge political row over the future of energy in South Australia and prompted the government to do something about. Despite the fact that South Australia has been investing in renewable energy sources for some years under the labour government, much to the dismay of many conservatives around the country, the so-called freak storm of only a few years ago showed just how fragile existing energy infrastructure really is.
Dealing with Private Interests
The truth is that the technology behind solar energy has increased and improved significantly in recent years. Manufacturing processes have also improved and costs have come down, which has translated to many more householders having solar panels installed on their roofs. Combined with wind farm generated electricity, the mix of renewables in the state has gradually reduced reliance on the conventional energy grid that is powered by coal fired power stations.
It is not just this focus on renewables that has piqued the interest of householders in terms of looking at better ways to save money on their electricity bills, but also the outrageous prices that people are having to pay for their electricity. There is no doubt at all that the decision in the 1990s to hand over electrical power generation to private hands has been instrumental in the demise of fair and reasonable power prices for everyone. With no regulations and caps in place, the private electricity companies have held the entire state of South Australia to ransom.
This doesn’t mean that no one is fighting back. Indeed, many more people are having solar panels installed, and the government has announced support for a home solar battery system in South Australia.
What Is the Home Battery System?
There has never been a better time to seriously consider solar energy. Not only have the prices come down significantly, but the government is fully supportive of the decision to invest in solar energy at a householder level. In the most practical terms, this means that more and more people are generating electrical energy from a renewable and sustainable source and putting energy back into the grid. This is taking a load off coal fired power stations and adding to the overall energy mix in the state.
Additionally, the home battery system represents a big step forward. In partnership with international brands such as Tesla, the government is supporting subsidies to householders for the installation of powerwalls. As electricity is generated by solar panels on the home, the energy is stored in these batteries and takes the strain off the energy grid. In many ways this is the biggest step forward in South Australia’s energy future and is very significant in that it hands more decision making power back to consumers and removes power from private energy companies.