Solar energy may be the answer to solving Australia’s water shortage
Friday, 01 Jun 2018

Australia is known around the world for our long hot summers and regular droughts but our need for clean, fresh water is becoming more apparent every year.

Solar energy may be the answer to solving Australia’s water shortage

Ranked in the world’s top 20 water-stressed nations, a shift to renewable energy could be a vital move to easing the strain on our dwindling water supply.

In a report by the World Resources Industry, Australia’s vulnerability to water could take a positive turn by investing new energy generation through solar, which require minimal to zero amounts of water to produce energy.

On the other hand, coal and gas fired power plants require huge amounts of water to continue operating, along with the constant rate of carbon emissions leaked into the environment.  

For each megawatt hour of electricity created by coal it requires around 60,700 litres of water and consumes about 2600 litres in the process.

Solar energy requires no use of water to generate electricity and would greatly benefit our current water and energy crisis. Source: cleantechnica.com.

Following the most recent financial year just passed, Australian home and business owners used 147 terrawatt hours of electricity (73 per cent of which came from coal power plants), which correspond to 455 billion litres of water.  

The World Resources Institute manager for water, Tianyi Luo explained Australia could better manage its water resources if we were to invest in the right energy systems, the required amount of energy would still be generated and consumed but will not produce any carbon emissions or consume from a minimal amount to no water whatsoever.  

How solar energy will help reduce your water bills

The International Energy Agency has found energy production uses around 10 per cent of the entire world’s water consumption and could be a major factor to reversing our impacts on our global water shortage.

South Africa’s Cape Town has been revealed to be the first major city to have run out of water while Sydney’s last major drought brought the Warragamba dam’s water level to just 30 per cent of its holding capacity.

Sydney’s Warragamba Dam hit its worst capacity levels in years after a long drought hit NSW. Source: wordpress.com.

This may not seem overly drastic, but if water capacity were to get to as low as 15 per cent, Australia would be in the same dire situation as South Africa where drinking water would be difficult to extract and disperse to Australian residents.  

Realising the growing trend of drought and increased demand for fresh water, Infrastructure Australia predicted the average annual water bill for Australian home owners could reach $2500 by 2040.

The one positive about such a daunting prospect is that it entices us all to take serious action to both help the environment and do our part to keep our bills from continually rising.

By investing in solar energy systems, you will not only be cutting down your already high energy bills but you will be doing your part to reduce water consumption by not relying on fossil fuel power plants.

Through installing more solar energy systems than ever before, Australia’s current solar revolution will inadvertently reduce our consumption of water and in turn our water bills if we keep cutting our reliance on the energy grid to the point where more plants become redundant.

What you can do to save money and save the environment

As you may have previously read, Australia has the potential to become the first 100 per cent renewable continent but only account for 5 per cent of the nation’s total power generation.

In order to reach that achievable goal, we need to realise the huge benefits solar energy have to offer.

The Energy division at AICA has a professional team of qualified engineers to assess and select the perfect solar energy system for your home or business to cut down your energy bills, help you save money and protect the environment in the process.

If solar energy has been something you’ve considered before but are unsure where to start, give our friendly team a call on 1800 242 228 for a free consultation today.

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