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Renewable Energy

Five amazing examples of renewable energy from around Australia

13 Mar 2018
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Australia sometimes gets a bad rap for being a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to renewable energy - and yeah, that’s kind of a fair call when you consider the massive strides some other countries are taking to ensure a low carbon future.

  • Uruguay gets a whopping 95% of their electricity from renewable sources

  • Sweden is committed to running entirely on 100% renewable energy within the next 25 years. (Not too shabby for the land that blessed us with ABBA)

Australia may not be at the forefront of renewable energy usage across the globe, but we actually aren’t doing too badly. In fact, here are some pretty cool examples of how we’re utilising innovative renewable energy around the country.

1. Partly solar-powered shopping complex in Western Australia

The creative design of a solar power carpark in Northam, Western Australia powers 40% of the attached shopping centre. The development includes over 900 solar panels, which act as shade for parked vehicles. There have also been solar carparks installed in Perth, Sydney and the Gold Coast. And solar carparks don’t just work exceptionally well in our sunny land; they can be pretty aesthetically pleasing as well.

2. South Australia’s renewable energy target

South Australia is outdoing the nation with their renewable energy growth, particularly through their use of wind power. You might say they’re big fans of the renewable source. The initiative RenewablesSA works to support the development of renewable energy in SA.

This initiative has been quite effective. Their target of 50% of the state’s energy to come from renewable energy by 2025 was smashed this year at 57%. SA’s goal of becoming a 100% renewable energy state (as well as reliable and affordable) in the next 20 years is definitely on track.

Check out our guide on 101 on renewable energy to get the lowdown on different kinds of renewable energy and the common myths surrounding them.

3. The tidal energy project

There are some pretty swanky project plans in place to ensure we aren’t lagging too far behind our greener neighbouring countries. Being home to some of the biggest swells in Australia means we have some serious tidal energy potential. It isn’t widely used yet though, so the tidal energy project – which commenced earlier this year – aims to investigate the potential of using tidal energy in Australia’s future.

How the heck does tidal energy work? Tides generate energy that’s actually quite similar to how wind power is generated. Imagine a wind turbine underwater and you’ve basically got it.

4. Our largest solar farm

It’s a no-brainer for Australia to utilise the sunny, hot days we have throughout the year. We already have some impressive-sized solar farms situated around the country, and we’ve set our sights on building one of the biggest and best ones yet.

The Equis Energy solar farm in western QLD will have a capacity of a staggering 1,000 megawatts over 1,424 hectares of land. Set to begin construction over the next 12 months, the sizable solar farm will put us on the map for having one of the biggest solar farms in the world. Finally, a little more renewable cred to our name.

Australia is utilising our beautiful sunshine for energy and you can too. Find out how you can save with solar by investing in solar panels for your home.

5. Solar powering remote communities in the northern territory

The Northern Territory government implemented an innovative project that saw the installation of over 10,000 solar panels across 10 Indigenous communities in NT. The installation of these solar sites aim to:

  • Secure remote communities with a renewable energy source

  • Reduce greenhouse gases emitted from traditionally used diesel-fired energy

  • Create ongoing local job opportunities

  • Contribute to reaching NT’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030

  • Eliminate diesel truck traffic on rural roads.

The project aims to ultimately distribute solar power to almost 30 remote communities in the territory – a perfect example of how Australia’s making the most of our sunny climate.

So we aren’t completely hopeless after all. On the contrary, Australia’s got some pretty exciting stuff in place for working our way up to being a clean, green, running machine. We’ll get there eventually; slow and steady wins the race.

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winter energy

5 Ways to Reduce Winter Energy Usage

10 May 2020

Many of us watch our energy bills creep up during the peak of winter, but a warm home doesn’t have to go hand in hand with a massive power bill. These energy saving tips will help you discover how to save electricity in winter. Try our seasonal winter home energy saving tips and keep your energy bill manageable.

1. Stay old school, where possible

Being able to walk around your home without having to wear a lot of layers or carry a blanket is a wonderful luxury in winter. However, there’s a certain vintage charm to getting warm under a heavy blanket while the air outside your cosy blanket haven is still chilly.

Keeping things old school as much as you can, pulling out thermals, putting on socks, and cuddling up for warmth during a Netflix session, are some of our favourite power saving tips for winter.

Smart Home Devices

2. Go smart

Not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about how to lower an electricity bill in winter, but smart devices can help you save heaps when it comes to your power bill.

If you use household heating, a programmable smart thermostat can save households up to $180 per year in heating and cooling costs, according to Energy Star. Some of these smart home devices can even be operated from smartphones, for when you just don’t want to leave the warmth of your blanket.

Who would have thought having an awesome home automation setup would bring your energy bill down!

Standby Power

3. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances

Just like choosing smart devices to save power, you can upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to save power too.

In Australia, most household appliances are rated according to their energy efficiency. Since efficient appliances use less electricity, they’re way cheaper to run. Of course, you don’t need to toss out your washing machine, dryer, fridge, microwave, and kettle just to save electricity in winter.

If you have an appliance that’s costing you a lot to run, it might actually save you money in the long run to buy a new, more efficient replacement.

Look up the energy ratings for all your big appliances (and small ones too if you can) and find any that could do with replacing.

4. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs

Energy-efficient bulbs are a no-brainer when it comes to ways to save money on electricity in winter. In fact, you should use these bulbs throughout the year to keep your electricity bill down, no matter the season.

These efficient bulbs use less power to produce the same amount of light. They also last longer than traditional bulbs.

If you feel like splurging, check out smart bulbs, they can be controlled by your phone as well as being energy efficient, neat! The savings from swapping these bulbs alone aren't massive, but every little bit adds up when you know you’ll spend more power heating your home in winter.

5. Build up the washing pile

There’s no point in chucking on two jumpers and a pair of jeans into the washing machine during winter, how dirty could they really be? Before doing a load of washing or drying make sure you have a full basket.

It’s no secret that the washing machine and dryer chew up the most electricity in your house. Don’t let the chilly season increase your wash load because of the more layers of clothing being added to the basket.

Follow these simple tips on how to save electricity in winter and you should hopefully see some great results during the cold season.

Reducing your energy usage all year long will help you get in the mindset before June even comes around or if you want to be even more prepared for when summer rolls around.

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