In 5 weeks, world leaders gather for what will be one of the most critical conversations on the future of our planet. Communities around the globe are calling on these leaders to commit to ambitious emissions reduction targets. While we look to them to provide the leadership we need - there are innovators, engineers, creators, philosophers, actionists and policy makers already creating a better future.
Here are 5 game-changers supporting our path to a cleaner energy future.
Energy is by far the largest source of carbon emissions in Western Australia¹ and therefore represents the greatest opportunity for decarbonisation. Renewables replace fossil fuels like coal and gas to harness cleaner, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. One in three WA homes and businesses now have rooftop solar and large-scale renewable energy systems have increased by 144% in the last two years².
The huge shift towards renewables has been a challenge for the electricity network, however there is no doubt that renewables are key to our energy future.
Batteries are the answer to when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing. They allow energy to be stored and used later when renewable energy generation is low. Battery technology continues to improve and offers a reliable and clean solution to burning fossil fuels. Think grid-scale systems like the South Australian flow battery³ or towns like Onslow, where rooftop solar combined with distributed and centralised battery systems are helping meet the town’s energy needs.
A Plico Solar + Battery Solution can provide the majority of your household’s energy needs and keep the lights on during a blackout.
3. Electric vehicles
Cars and light commercial vehicles account for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia⁴. Electric vehicles (EV) emit zero emissions and when charged with renewable energy sources, such as a Plico Solar Battery Solution, offer a clean transport option for the future. The WA Government is investing in more charging stations across the road network to make EV travel even easier and has committed to replacing a quarter of its fleet with EVs by 2026.
Major automotive brands leading the charge are Jaguar, Mini and Volvo – all of whom are ditching petrol and diesel engines for cleaner battery-electric vehicles.
4. Smart Loads
Controlling when we use electricity is critical for our clean energy transition. Demand can be managed with smart appliances and timing our electricity use for when renewable energy generation is high. This often coincides with 'off-peak' times - when demand for electricity from the grid is low. The WA Government’s DER Roadmap is ensuring our network is ready for the growing uptake of distributed renewable energy sources to better balance demand in the future.
That’s good news for Plico Members and our Virtual Power Plant, which is working within the DER roadmap to ensure our Members experience the least inconvenience and maximum benefit from grid-scale Demand Management Programs. That's a win for consumers, the grid, and renewable energy in general.
5. Green finance
We’ve all heard the saying “put your money where your mouth is” and green finance is just that. Investing funds and structuring financial activities into sustainable practices and technologies while redirecting funds away from climate-harming activities. Global sustainable investment rose 34% in just two years and now totals over $35T⁵, as all around the world banks, corporations and everyday investors channel funds into sustainable practices.
This shift signals the growing illegitimacy of the fossil fuel industry – it’s a win for the environment and for investors!
If you'd like to join the game-changer energy revolution, talk to us about your own Solar Battery Solution!
²Energy Transformation Strategy – Stage 2- July 2021: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/energy-policy-wa/energy-transformation-strategy³
⁵Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018: http://www.gsi-alliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/GSIR_Review2018.3.28.pdf