Australia ranks seventh on the global list of renewable energy patents, as it receives 58 million PJ of solar radiation. Unfortunately, the country is unable to fully utilise its energy exposure, as its solar energy consumption is quite limited. This is why the Australian government is working on multiple developments and advancements to improve the future of solar energy.
In this guide, we will elaborate on solar power’s future developments and trends in Australia.
Future of Solar Energy – The Government’s Most Recent Initiatives
The Australian government plans to produce 40% of renewable energy by 2030 and gradually shift to 100% solar production. This is why it has allotted $1.5 billion towards developing four big industrial-level solar energy plants in Australia.
These plants are a part of the Clean Energy Action Plan Solar Flagships Program. Their main objective is to produce up to 1 GW of solar power in the country. The plants will utilise thermal and PV technology to provide clean and renewable energy.
The government has also partnered with Geoscience Australia, which will collect and analyse data on solar resources and prospects.
Future Trends and Developments
The future of solar power will observe a few advancements. Let’s take a look at a few trends and developments.
Developments in Solar Power
Ultra-Thin Organic Solar Panels
Ultra-thin organic solar panels, also known as “Print-to-Order”, are a novel take on solar panel systems. These panels are wafer-thin, made from 100% organic materials. They are also printed based on the market demand.
The Print-to-Order panels will absorb 25% more energy compared to existing solar panel systems. They will also be suitable to install indoors without compromising their efficiency rate. Ultra-thin organic panels will also be more economical than silicon-based solar panels, making them ideal for personal or smart devices.
This technology is currently under development. However, several industries will use them in manufacturing satellites, solar arrays for zero-energy buildings, and smart wearables connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Infra-Red Technology for Solar Panels
Although solar panels are a leading source of clean energy, they do have limitations. Cloudy days and nighttime can significantly reduce their energy output. However, a team of researchers at UNSW Sydney and ARC Centre is currently developing a groundbreaking solution to this challenge – using infrared technology to generate power at night.
These innovative solar panels work on the same principle as night-vision goggles, converting infrared heat into electricity using thermos-radiative diodes. While still in the early stages, this cutting-edge technology holds great promise for the future of solar energy.
Transparent Solar Technology
Transparent solar technology, also known as solar glass, is also under development. This technology is created from photovoltaic glass, offering different levels of transparency that are effective in a PV cell.
This new style of solar panels will to replace traditional solar panels, as their installation is more convenient. For example, they can be easily fitted in the windows of residential and commercial buildings to transform sunlight into electricity.
Unlike traditional solar panels, they don’t rely on the main electricity grid to complete the energy conversion process. As a result, they will require less space and will be easier to install.
Expected Trends in the Solar Energy Sector
Increased Adoption of Solar Panels in All Sectors
As the world reduces reliance on carbon-based fuels, the use of solar panels will experience rapid growth. Beyond residential properties, commercial properties are also poised to adopt this change.
For instance, the transportation sector will shift towards solar-powered vehicles. This will reduce the use of petrol and diesel, which can damage the environment by releasing harmful pollutants. Solar-powered vehicles have the potential to reduce the negative impact on the environment while promoting clean, renewable energy.
Increase in Solar Cell Usage
Solar panels use silicon or thin-film solar cells to convert sunlight into energy. Typically, commercial panels convert 17-20% of sunlight into electricity, but researchers are working to bring this number to 30%.
One promising approach involves adding an ultra-thin layer of perovskite, a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide compound that enhances blue light absorption. By increasing energy absorption, perovskite cells could significantly boost solar panel efficiency, paving the way for greater solar energy adoption.
A Decline in the Cost of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels
In recent years, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has been on the rise. However, experts predict that prices will fall by an impressive 10% annually over the next decade, making renewable energy more accessible to even small households.
Additionally, federal and state governments are offering rebates to reduce the cost of solar panel installation. Residents can take advantage of these incentives to access affordable PV systems and embrace sustainable energy sources.
Solar panel systems can become a main energy source in Australia’s upcoming years. The federal government aims to lower carbon emissions by investing in green and renewable energy sources. Therefore, new technological advancements can facilitate this change. In addition, new trends are being introduced in various sectors to promote the usage of solar panel systems.
To learn more about the future of home solar power and commercial solar energy, consult with solar energy professionals today. Solaire Connect can provide you with the latest industry insights. Our team will also assess your property’s solar potential and guide you through designing and installing a solar panel system that meets your needs and budget.