Price And Distance: Big Issues for Remote Solar Technology

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
May 23, 2016

Why has there been a limited take up on solar energy in remote communities in North West Australia when there is abundance in sunshine? The answer is money, which remote Kimberley communities are having difficulty accessing capital funding as reported by Science WA.

Other reasons are the ineffective government policy and the communities’ limited administrative resources. These are some of the barriers that that is preventing renewable energy being realized in remote Western Australia, this according to the University of Queensland.

As part of the study of University of Queensland study, they examined three remote indigenous communities in the Kimberley. Each community have a population of about 250-350 people. Following a detailed analysis of solar technologies that involves different cost-of-capital scenarios, the research concluded that fixed-tilt solar PV was the most financially suitable technology. However, they determined its viability in remote WA will depend on a few factors that includes the size of the renewable system installed.

They found that if the system’s capacity exceeded 20kW, it will require generation management, most often in the form of battery storage, which can be an extra cost to the community that will reduce the financial benefits of the project. If the power capacity is less than 20kW, these remote communities will benefit from solar power. However, it will be a different story to get technicians to travel to these remote areas to install the renewable systems.

According to Dr. Liam Byrnes, their research highlights the need to reframe approaches I energy provision and custom solutions to the local context. Over the next 5-10 years, he thinks that there will an acceleration in transitioning communities to renewable energy.

Click here to read the full story on Science WA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
OUR MOST POPULAR POSTS

Trending Posts

Making a Big Deal of Microgrids
Solar

Making a Big Deal of Microgrids

Australia is right now experiencing an energy revolution. It’s profoundly exciting. Yet if there’s one challenge we are facing, it’s that because the speed and scale of change is so vast, it’s easy for certain aspects of it to be overlooked a little now and then.

The Ambitions of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub
Green Energy

The Ambitions of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub

Australia has always known it would build stronger ties throughout Asia. There are many reasons for this, but central is the shared cultural and economic links that connect a nation of 25 million into a region of over 4.5 billion.