As Australian businesses continue to explore new ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs, alternative energy promises to deliver cleaner, more affordable and more effective energy production. Here are a few key alternative energy trends every business should know.
Because Australia has quite a lot of food manufacturing and therefore a lot of organic waste, biomass has grown in popularity as an alternative energy source. Biomass is a good solution if you have a high amount of waste and you can digest and run a generator from it.
Despite needing a sizeable up front investment to get started, biomass can be a cost-effective way to generate energy from a cheap source. In fact, it even allows businesses to avoid the costs of shipping waste off site.
Australians in general are very much more aware of a circular economy and therefore shipping waste off site is becoming less palatable, especially when there can be some very good cash positive yields from it.
Microgrids and embedded networks are growing as a popular alternative energy option, because as a group, we can act as a singular organism to consume more power and get lower prices.
However, there are complexities with getting many people to agree on a good outcome. But with a proactive group, who all share a common goal of cutting costs maximising the benefit of solar within an embedded network, feeding everyone is better than multiple small solar systems feeding individuals.
So embedded networks and microgrids can definitely share the benefits of common generation. It just needs to be understood the complexity of who owns the grid and how it works in between the users.
Solar is obviously a no-brainer for most businesses if it’s either free or cash positive from day one. So solar is something that you're definitely going to do - it shouldn't be a question by now.
Alternative products such as batteries are still not cost-effective for pure energy generation, however for some clients, they will be good for ramping demand management and tariff reduction. It is still an impure science as far as that goes and batteries are still evolving - the costs are still high and the decision-making is not perfect.