Australian aboriginal community life transformed due to diesel generators replacement with solar panels
"We know that solar powered generators are in existence. But are they really effective? Are they useful, economic? Why do we need to opt for solar powered generators when simple, diesel generators are in existence?"
In spite of possessing 170 square kilometers of land in the east of Tennant creek in Australia and a large amount of money in bank account, it was not affordable for Munungurra Aboriginal Corporation members to live in their country of birth and origin. The cost of providing power to a remote place prevented them to build an economy for their community.The corporation had no water and power supply as they were not on the grid and so they had to pay for two diesel generators to provide power supply to two tiny communities named as the aboriginal community and the Torres strait islanders community.
According to Mr. Graeme Smith, chief executive of Corporation, though these two generators provided people with reliable power supply, one generator was mostly occupied or utilized by two houses from among eight houses and the corporation had to pay $601 to $701 for the diesel.
As the people of the community had no employment, they could not afford to pay for diesel. So they lived in the town, looked after their children at school, got homes in the town and just went on the dole. So the corporation decided to lease a solar power system at a price higher than $200,001 from a government funded organization named indigenous business Australia that protects & promotes the economic interests of the aboriginal community as well as Torres Strait islander community.
Within 3 months of replacing diesel generator with solar power system brought huge financial and social benefits for the community. Its expenses were reduced by more than 50% and population increased from 3 to 40. Furthermore, local jobs increased and a school was established in the region.
Mr. McInnes from Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) organization had never thought of solar power provider as an alternative for diesel generator before Mr. Smith suggested him. He then found a suitable solar energy provider named as Allgrid Energy, a solar power firm located at Queensland in Australia. Its Chief executive, Mr. Pratt suggested a battery system and a solar panel for the community.
According to Mr. Pratt sun rays hit the solar panel during daytime and generate power. The community can utilize this power during daytime and rest of the unutilized power can be stored in batteries which can be utilized by the community at night.
IBA purchased the solar system from Allgrid Energy and rented it to Munungurra Aboriginal Corporation. Inexpensive power supply due to the solar system has helped the corporation make huge capital withdrawals. It has also helped in transforming and improving the lifestyle of the community as well as increased the community size and produced new jobs.
Corporation has now got two government contracts - the first contract is to provide home repairing and maintenance services, while another contract is to manage work of dole programs & activities.
This has encouraged Mr. McInnes of IBA to replicate this experience and provide similar facilities to more such remote communities that depend on diesel generators for power supply. This could help in reducing their expenditure on power & energy supply to a large extent
This demonstrates as to how solar power can be useful and work wonders for even remote communities like aboriginal and torees. Solar power also helps to reduce their expenditure and contributes largely towards green environment maintenance. All these factors are predicted to promote the demand for solar power in Australia and enhance the growth of Australia solar power market.
Today, there is a rampant use of coal, LPG, CNG and diesel as sources of power but tomorrow the world would be dominated by solar power which is a natural source of energy and can be abundantly derived or availed naturally.
Use of solar energy prevents exhaustion of natural resources like coal & diesel extracted from below the earth's crust. It thus prevents natural disequilibrium caused due to exhaustion of natural resources like coal resulting in natural calamities like earthquakes, tremors and floods.
As per Global Market Insights report, the global Solar tracker market size is forecast to reach USD 7.54 billion by 2023, with growth expectation of 12% CAGR from 2016 to 2023.
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