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Last night’s 100% Renewable Roadshow event marked the launch of the Homegrown Power Plan, prepared by members of the community organizations Solar Citizens and GetUp!

As a long-term volunteer in community advocacy for renewable energy and brand new employee of GEM Energy, I went along to keep my finger on the grassroots pulse.

The Homegrown Power Plan is an in-depth blueprint for a sustainable transition to 100% renewable power generation in Australia. Its central idea is that the “Renewable Revolution” has to be driven by the Australian public. We might just succeed in getting to 100% by 2030 if we band together to stoke the demand for clean energy technology and pester politicians in large numbers.

The event was a beautiful example of collaboration between some different community groups such as Energetic Communities. The not-for-profit advocacy organization is committed to securing more investment projects for community-owned renewable energy in Queensland.

 

Here is a summary of the facts and figures presented by speakers:

  • 500,000 solar panels are being installed globally every day
  • Several countries have set a 100% Renewable Energy Target (RET) to be achieved by 2030, including New Zealand, Denmark, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Iceland, as well as Australia’s very own state, the ACT.
  • 47% of Germany’s renewable energy generation is community-owned.
  • Australian electricity bills have increased by 70% over the last five years.
  • Queensland has the highest CO2 emissions of all of the Australian states.
  • Over 300 MW of large-scale solar farms are due to go online in regional Queensland within the next two years.
  • We will have peer-to-peer electricity trading in the near future (kind of like an Ebay for energy).
  • While uptake of residential solar has been excellent, there is still a distinct lag in the uptake of solar by commercial enterprises in Australia today.
  • Renewables currently generate 7% of Queensland’s electricity.

 

The slow uptake of commercial solar is due to several reasons. While residential solar has evolved into a fairly standard option with quick turnaround times these days, commercial solar is the new kid in town. Installation of commercial solar requires specialty electrical engineering knowledge as well as project and asset management know-how. These projects generally take longer to complete because of their size and the intricacy of design and installation. There are only a handful of solar energy companies in Australia able to install and maintain commercial solar as the field is new.

GEM Energy has recruited experienced engineers who have gained the necessary skills and expertise in more mature commercial solar markets overseas. We live and breathe the stuff. We are at the cutting edge!

And the best thing is that commercial solar makes financial sense. The majority of our clients achieve cash flow positive returns from the first quarter.

In conclusion, do not delay; the future is here! And GEM Energy would like to cordially invite any astute business owners to contact us to consider their power generation options!

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