Trash to Treasure - It is possible in a circular economy.

The truth is out there. The answer is simple.

A growing industry requires growing support to ensure it is sustainable, ecological and local. The Solar Electricity Generation industry is considered one of the fastest growing industries in today’s marketplace. This exciting ‘not so new’ industry has a lot of key external drivers such as electricity service price, public concerns over environmental issues, demand from electricity retailing and the most topical discussions surrounding the demand form fossil fuel electricity generation.

During the past five years, the solar electricity generation has and will continue to grow over the last five and the next five years. This promising industry has an expected revenue growth of 163.4% year on year. This growth is partly attributable to external industry assistance. Support such as debt funding from ARENA and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), state and federal polices have all contributed to the rapid and continued growth of the industry.

Environmental issues still run high in public concerns, with a core focus on global warming. Lack of truth, lack of understanding and lack of knowing who is the credible reliable source creates. Regardless of the facts, lack of facts, understanding of facts, it is a fact that renewable energy demands tend to rise as public concerns relating to environmental issues increases. An ongoing war between corporate profits, cost reduction and the environment is expected to continue creating further support for the renewable energy sector to grow.

As discussed in ‘Climate Change is not the Problem’, demand for more energy is rising. With an increasing and aging population; couple with a ‘click-economy’ which continues to grow the reliance on electrical products and services will continue. The question is what type of service do we want? We have many options in play from fossil fuels (black or brown coal), gas and renewable energy (wind, water, sunlight and bioenergy) to consider. Each of these provides a service, each of these are currently leaving a dark legacy on the environment.

Inelastic electricity demand; when the price of electricity increases the demand does not necessarily decrease. More and more households across Australia are installing small-scale solar systems over the past five years. Solar farms and large-scale energy storage solutions are the core focus from industry all competing to own and control the majority of available land and connectivity. The war on ‘the biggest’ and the ‘most notable’ continues, with an industry wanting to work together whilst fighting each other at the ‘bowser’ for the chance to take marketshare. Has the renewable energy industry forgotten why it commenced with rookies and cowboys entering the market, complete commercialisation of the industry alongside global competitors taking Australian opportunities; what is the industries current purpose? I know that deep down the industry of renewable energy wants to do what is right, however opportunity often breeds greed. Revenue for the Solar Electricity generation industry has and will continue to grow. As additional Solar Farms continue to come online, from the 2014 standing of less that 50MW to over 24,00MW in 2018 this is only going to increase as anticipated commercial finalisation on many major projects finish in 2019. Smaller portfolio investments have started to become the norm across the large-scale industry and also allowing for the smaller players to step up to the big league.

So what are the next or should I say the current two issues facing the Solar Electricity industry? They are energy storage and end of life service offerings. More and more competition is entering the storage market, prices are still sitting at a high whilst the storage industry continues to innovate. The end of life issue is a compounding factor that has a complete and devastating effect on our environment. Solutions made available through SolaCycle have commenced key industry discussions across Australia. Aside from new industry employment it is common knowledge that technological change in the industry is high and will remain that way for some time. The Solar Energy generation industry is still well it’s growth phase. It is anticipated that the industry value-added (IVA) over the decade through 2023-2024 is expected to increase with an annualised rate of 73.2%.

The greatest disappointment to this and many new emerging industries is the lack of discussion involving the solution of recycle and circular economy. With a fast reacting society and the need to compete on the rise, the first and only discussion should be; what will we do when we no longer need these items? Failure to do this will result in catastrophic environmental impacts. SolaCycle engages with industries within the renewable energy sector and all manufacturing across Australia. We understand that the circular economy is creating new opportunities for growth, and a more circular economy will aid in the reduction of waste, drive greater resource productivity, whilst delivering a more competitive economy. This approach and partnering with SolaCycle will assist position Australia and regions to better address environmental concerns and the looming and enduring climate change.