Last year was a big year of growth for renewable energy. We saw the global solar market grow by 26 per cent, and 2018 is predicted to be even bigger. We’ve hand-picked graphs that illustrate the top renewable energy trends to watch in 2018.
1. The rise of electricity prices with no relief in sight!
In recent years we’ve all noticed a price hike in our power bills and it’s likely we could face more in the next couple of years. But will the price hike last, and what can we expect to pay for our electricity in the short future?
Electricity price forecasts for Australia 1995-2020
2. Renewable energy on the increase
Despite the best efforts of big coal, Australians have embraced renewable energy and it's beginning to emerge as a significant player in providing electricity. Ten years ago renewables represented about seven per cent of our electricity supply however, by 2016 it was 17.3 per cent of Australia’s electricity.
It's predicted that by 2030, 75 per cent of electricity will be from renewable energy.
Predicted energy supply mix in Australia by 2030
3. Renewable energy costs will continue to fall
A tender by a major US energy utility suggested that “firm and dispatchable” renewables are now cheaper than existing coal plants.
Operating costs of coal vs renewables
4. The renewable industry will generate more jobs
Last year was a massive year for the renewable energy sector, with at least 43 projects under construction or completed in Australia. Overall these projects delivered a whopping $8.8 billion in investment, more than 4469 Megawatts(MW) of new renewable energy capacity and created more than 4930 direct jobs. What does 2018 have installed?
Large scale renewable projects in 2017
5. Solar energy boom to set new records
Last year, 2017 was a record year for the solar PV industry in Australia and it will likely be put to shame by 2018.
Data from Reneweconomy shows a total 1340MW of solar PV was installed and operational by the end of December 2017. By 2018, solar PV is expected to provide 3580MW.
Solar capacity predictions in 2018
6. Australia leading in energy storage
The battery storage sector has only just started, but the potential is clearly huge. From 2015-16 installation of solar storage batteries for Australian households increased by 1000 per cent, so there's no doubt we will see major increases in 2018.
Alongside this growth, battery costs also declined 40 per cent since 2014.
Predictions of global energy storage installations
7. Community big battery - a game changer in 2018?
With the rapid adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in everyday households and the rise of solar battery storage, the power and benefit of community-produced solar energy is quickly being realised by the electricity industry.
A community big battery is an interconnected network of houses that can share energy to the grid when needed, which can be particularly helpful at peak times such as in extreme hot weather. Acting as a virtual power station, like that of the South Australian big battery, the idea of a ‘community big battery’ is one that – you guessed it – the community can get involved with and play a part in the market by selling the stored energy in their home solar battery setups.
We predict that we'll see community big batteries playing a large role in 2018.
See how Reposit homeowners with GridCredits® retail plans acted as a big battery on January 19 2018, by selling their stored energy, assisting our electricity grid and reducing their power bill.
How can you participate?
Reposit is the tool that allows homeowners to become a part of a community big battery and interact with the electricity market. We've developed software that allows you as a homeowner to sell your stored energy to electricity companies at better prices, but companies still choose what they pay.
Any household with a solar energy setup that includes a Reposit-compatible solar battery can get involved with this big battery concept. Once a household is connected with a Reposit product, the next step is getting signed up to receive GridCredits®.