Solar is finding it way into Australia's commercial market with almost half of the nation's major companies making the switch to clean energy.
A new report from the Climate Council shows the number of Australian businesses installing solar power increased by 60% over 2016 and 2017, while total business solar capacity has more than doubled since 2016.
Climate Councillor and energy expert Greg Bourne said electricity prices for small business owners had skyrocketed by almost 90% in less than 10 years, while gas prices had tripled in half that time.
“This report shows that the rising cost of energy is the number one concern for Australian businesses over the next decade, so it’s no surprise that a variety of businesses from bakeries to breweries, and tech agencies are all turning to affordable renewable energy and storage solutions,” he said.
“These businesses are actively investing in renewable energy in a bid to cut costs and take control of their power bills, while also playing a crucial role in transitioning the nation away from ageing fossil fuels.”
“This is a world-wide transition, with businesses around the globe taking advantage of the investment opportunities associated with renewable energy, with 131 of the world’s largest companies on their way to being powered by 100% renewables.”
The report found that Australia is experiencing a boom in renewable energy with over 5,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy projects under construction in 2018.
Climate Council energy and climate solutions analyst Petra Stock said businesses were naturally transitioning to renewable energy and battery storage, with wind and solar now the cheapest forms of new-build energy generation, far cheaper than a new coal power station.
“This transition is good for the pockets of business owners and good for our climate, it really is a win-win,” she said.
“Despite the renewables rush, the Federal Government is still lagging behind. The proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), in its current form, is woefully inadequate when it comes to tackling climate change, and also places Australia’s business and renewables boom at risk of grinding to a halt.”