How Can Rural and Remote Areas Benefit from Solar?
Solar energy is great for pretty much everyone, but some households can benefit even more than others. One example of this is people who live in the rural parts of Australia, far away from large cities.
Australia is a big country, with a lot of space. And according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about 7 million people – or 28% of the Australian population, live in remote and rural areas.
For these people, solar energy can be an incredibly useful asset, helping solve many of the energy-related challenges involved with living in the country. In this article, we’ll look at some of these challenges and the specific ways solar helps address them.
Energy Challenges of Rural and Remote Areas
Living in a rural environment comes with a ton of unbeatable perks, as almost anyone who lives there will know. However, you’ll also know that living out in the country comes with a few challenges, and some of those relate to how you access and use energy.
Let’s take a look at some of the main challenges:
- Energy infrastructure can be patchy. Living in a city, you have the benefit of a highly developed electrical grid. In rural areas, the infrastructure is often older and more prone to outages and other issues.
- Repairs can take a while. Urban electrical grids are supervised around the clock by teams of workers ready to spring into action any time a problem occurs. In rural areas, however, it can take much longer to repair when things go wrong, leading to long periods without power.
- Extending the grid is expensive. Building up the energy grid in rural areas is a complex process. It takes a long time, costs money, and isn’t as incentivized as the same work in urban areas.
- Energy costs can often be higher in rural areas, due to factors like a lack of providers. For example, it was found recently that people in rural New South Wales were paying $1000 more for power over a year than those living in the city.
- Rural homes typically use more power than those in urban and suburban areas. They often have larger fridges and freezers due to going into town less often, they may pump water for households and farming practices, and features like electric fencing and industrial workshops all add up to a major drain on energy.
The more remote you are, the more serious these problems become. Many remote communities in Australia rely heavily on diesel generators for their power. But there is a better way — solar energy.
How Solar Benefits Rural and Remote Areas
Here are some of the ways solar can help tackle the energy issues in rural Australia.
- It helps protect your home against power outages. Solar power allows you to take control of your own energy production so you aren’t fully reliant on the grid. This way, even when the grid is unavailable, you can still power your home. This is especially true if you invest in a solar battery to keep your home powered by solar even when the sun isn’t shining.
- Costs are more stable and can be lower over time. While the upfront cost of installing a solar panel system can seem high, it typically pays for itself over the first few years and works out much cheaper than traditional fossil fuel energy in the long term.
- It’s better for the environment. As a renewable energy source, solar power doesn’t burn greenhouse gases, produce pollution, or contribute to global warming like non-renewable sources such as coal, oil, and gas.
- Rural areas are often best suited to solar. Some of Australia’s most sparsely-populated areas are also those that receive the most hours of sunlight, giving them an advantage over more urban areas when it comes to solar power.
Make the switch to solar
As you can see, solar is an excellent choice for people living in rural and remote parts of Australia. You can tap into one of Australia’s most abundant natural resources — sunlight — to generate your own steady flow of energy and take a step away from the electrical grid.
By building your own solar panel system, ideally backed up by the right solar battery, you can minimise or even eliminate the power outages that are a constant challenge for many remote communities. Take charge of your energy with solar.
At SnapSolar, we help households and businesses in Queensland get started on their own solar journeys. We can talk you through everything you need to know to get started, from the right type of panels to the best maintenance methods, and help you install the perfect solar panel system for you and your needs.
Get in touch with us to find out more and get a quote.
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