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What’s happening is the decentralisation of power generation,

and

the

rise

of

highly

efficient,

ultrasustainable localised power creation.

W

e see traditional ownership

As a society, we have accepted this

The model is called PayG and it was

views shifting with the rise

condition because in a sense it was just

pioneered by ClearSky Solar planners like

of the sharing economy and

built in, the price we were all willing to

Christina Kirche and Smart Commercial

the likes of Airbnb. In the

pay for the background hum and security of

Solar founder Huon Hoogesteger.

information economy, this

the energy that powered our lives. We also

The reason the model works is because

ownership shift is seen with the rise of

didn’t have a choice because there were no

the difference between the cost of the solar

software as a service (SaaS) models. One

viable energy alternatives.

being generated and the price charged for

theme unites these models: using only what

Now we do. New energy models are

the energy it produces (still much lower

you need creates revolutionary efficiencies

emerging in Australia built on the revo-

than utility prices) is so great that people

that save money and in many cases deliver

lutionary economics of solar which has

are willing to finance your system. And it’s

huge sustainability benefits.

seen an 80% drop in component pricing

a comparison rate that makes it look better

This is now happening with energy and

and a rapid improvement of the monitoring

than a mortgage.

that’s why it’s going to affect everyone. A major

technology and processes that can support

disruption is occurring that in the short term

stable localised power generation.

To date ClearSky Solar has pooled nearly $3m in investments for 17 projects installed

is creating headlines about Australian power

Many people are unaware that solar

by Smart Commercial Solar across Australia.

networks struggling to meet demand, but in

power has reached parity pricing with coal

Every single one of its projects is oversub-

the mid to long term will deliver big savings

in Australia — this means it costs as much

scribed within hours of being announced,

for both personal and business customers,

or less to generate power with solar than

and the ABC reported that one solar inves-

and a huge boost to the environment.

with coal. And the customer doesn’t have

tor was so pleased with the returns that

to pay the network charges because the

she was pulling money out of her banking

power generator is located on premises.

investments to put more into solar.

What’s happening is the decentralisation of power generation, and the rise of highly efficient, ultrasustainable localised power

As a result of these new economics,

Businesses from the likes of industrial

a group of like-minded innovators and

supply company Blackwoods to the Dudley

Traditionally, the energy market has re-

community members have come together

Hotel are now generating power from solar

lied on big centralised generators that burn

and built a commercial solar model that is

installations paid for by the community.

‘something’ to make electricity. The unit

delivering free solar to businesses while

Energy output and financial returns are

cost of creating this energy is referred to as

simultaneously producing a healthy 7%

carefully monitored and user and investor

the ‘wholesale cost’, which last month saw

return on investment for community funders.

exist in harmony — it’s a vision of our

creation.

NSW wholesale costs go from $140 MWh to

Australian community solar fund ClearSky

$1000 MWh. Furthermore, there are the costs

Solar allows smaller generators to get access

involved in transporting that power.

to power at rates of the big consumers.

shared energy future but it’s here today. Smart Commercial Solar www.smartcommercialsolar.com.au

Investment and generation behind the meter cut costs of wholesale and distribution costs of energy. The cost of energy to businesses is wholesale plus transportation cost of energy. Here’s where it gets really interesting. In NSW, the average cost of network charges is 5–15c/kWh, which means 10–25c/kWh pricing on average. This means that the largest consumers of energy get the cheapest price, but there’s only a few of these big consumers. The other 80% don’t consume that much energy, but because they pay for the same social infrastructure they’re left with a big tab to pick up.

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Apr/May 2017 - Sustainability Matters 7

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Sustainability Matters Apr/May 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Apr/May 2017  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...