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Sustainable and renewable energy sources are increasingly regarded as a necessary alternative to our current dependence on fossil fuels as a source of energy.
what is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is a source of power derived from natural resources that will never be exhausted and are constantly replenished by mother-nature. These renewable energy sources typically include the sun (solar energy), water (hydro power, tidal power and wave power), wind energy and biological materials (biomass).
These types of renewable energy power are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional energy sources in countries around the world as the supplies of fossil fuels slowly deplete and in most cases harm our environment. The fact that fossil fuels will not sustain our increasing demand for energy indefinitely and that the burning of these fossil fuels is leading to pollution and increased temperatures around the world is forcing people to recognise the importance of renewable energy to future generations.
types of renewable energy
There are many sources of renewable energy and the list keeps growing due to continual innovation. However, the following are the most widely used forms of renewable energy in Australia.
Currently, sustainable forms of energy provide only 8% of Australia's electricity supply, but are becoming increasingly popular with business and household consumers. Over 90% of electricity generated in Victoria is sourced from burning coal, contributing over 50% of the State's greenhouse gas emissions.
using renewable energy
In Australia, traditional fossil fuels currently provide the cheapest source of power. The challenge facing Australia is to relinquish this dependence on non-sustainable forms of energy such as coal and gas and to look to a greener, cleaner, sustainable future using renewable energy sources.
Australians are encouraged to utilise renewable energy in a variety of ways. These include installing solar panels at home and in certain cases, individuals may even be eligible for federal government rebates on these solar panels. Other options include ensuring your electricity provider generates some of their power from renewable energy sources, such as is being done under the GreenPower accreditation scheme.
government rebates for renewable energy initiatives
The Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, formerly named the Department of the Environment and Water Resources, operates a number of programs to protect and conserve Australia's environment, including the provision of rebates to encourage renewable energy use.
- Learn more about solar hot water rebates
- Learn more about solar panel rebates
- Learn more about other schemes to encourage renewable energy use operated by some State and Territory Governments.
electricity generation in australia
Electricity generation in Australia is dominated by coal-powered power stations (83%), while around 8.5% is from gas. Hydro electric power makes the highest contribution to Australian electricity generation at 7.32% of total output. Electricity generation from renewable energy sources including solar, biomass and wind is low in Australia at present, but by choosing renewable energy to power your home, you will help increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources, thereby reducing carbon emissions and helping the environment.
Switchwise can help you find a great deal on renewable energy in your suburb. Simply enter your postcode to start seeing some great green energy plans available in your suburb.