Perth, 2nd January 2010
This morning I took a slightly different and longer route on my “daily dose of daylight” walk to check out the residential neighborhood. Though still early in the morning the day seems to shape up to a scorcher with temperatures expected to reach past 35 degrees C. But a gentle breeze made the walk a pleasant one. As so often here, not a cloud in the blue sky. It is therefore not surprising that Western Australia has one of the highest numbers of average daily sunshine, as far as I know, more than 8 hours a day! During my morning walk I noticed (not surprisingly), that many more houses had solar panels on their roofs.
The Western Australian government gives subsidy or rebate of up to 50% to stimulate the use of renewable energy. The solar systems here are generally connected to the power grid and the solar energy generated is sold back to the grid when not used. But there is a big debate going on about the price of the solar energy as the power grid companies so far are paying less for the renewable energy they buy then what they are selling it for. A bit of “power” play going on?
Even though it currently still takes well over 10 years (even with subsidy) to earn back the investment of a solar energy system, I believe it won’t take 10 years before we will be able to generate all our private (lighting) energy needs from solar energy. Not in the least because the fast development of LED lighting technology.
I would be interested to hear more about this from specialists in this field as well as experiences in other parts of the world.