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Identifying the biggest trends likely to shape the year ahead isn't difficult.

Hell I am writing this column in the midst of yet another heatwave. We are all experiencing the effects of global warming and it will only get worse.

Nine of Australia’s 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2005. According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) Annual Climate Statement, 2018 was the third hottest year on record.

It's scary to realize that heatwaves are set to become the new norm, but I am more afraid of the government's inaction.

While we won't see much climate change relief in 2019, I expect a bit of a reprieve from soaring power prices.

As we all know doing business in Australia is an expensive proposition. The cost of electricity and gas has hit hard in recent years but a new report from the CSIRO holds some promise.

CSIRO chief energy economist Paul Graham said that while existing fossil fuel power plants are competitive due to their sunk capital costs, solar and wind generation technologies are currently the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity for Australia, compared to any other new-build technology.

According to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) increased wind and solar generation will help drive power prices down by 2.1% on average in the next two years.

At the same time lower wholesale power prices will give the typical household a saving of $55 a year.

In simple terms, renewables are finally having an impact on the cost of power prices nationally.

The amount of wind and solar on the grid has doubled in three years to the end of 2020, taking the total share to more than 35 per cent.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has made it clear – the Australian grid is facing a dramatic and rapid transition.

Most of Australia’s coal generation will reach its use-by date of 50 years within the next 10 to 15 years.

The only downside is gas with prices likely to remain high throughout 2019.

Unfortunately, the gas crisis still has an iron grip on Australia's manufacturing, chemicals and food processing industries.

But on the upside we are moving toward an entirely new energy landscape.

For anyone working in HVACR it isn't just refrigerants being replaced, all RAC equipment will be supported by a new power regime that is dominated by renewables.

So to summarise 2019 expect more sweaty nights with a bit of relief.

 

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