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Cambridge Clean Energy Ltd (CCE) is a renewable energy as a service (RESCO) business, operating distributed renewable power solutions in India and Africa.
Article | March 23, 2020
The impacts of the coronavirus COVID-19 are being increasingly felt throughout the country, but the usual bills – including electricity bills – keep rolling in. There’s a lot that really sucks financially-speaking at the moment, but there are some bright spots. Here’s why now is a particularly good time to be considering going solar. But there’s a sure-fire way to get a great return on your cash and that is acquiring a good quality, professionally installed solar power system. Try our new solar calculator – the estimated payback and returns might make your eyes pop. For example, the following are estimated simple payback periods and savings over ten years for a 6.6kW solar system costing $6,600 installed in the various capitals; using the calculator’s default settings:
As businesses shut down and many work from home around the world, electricity demand has reduced in COVID-19 hotspots. This could have a knock-on effect for the renewable sector. China, where the outbreak first took hold, is the world’s biggest electricity consumer. Output from factories has been substantially diminished with many unable to return to their jobs in manufacturing. Due to the curtailing of industrial electricity use, cuts in energy consumption for 2020 could be equivalent to the power used by the whole of Chile, according to IHS Markit. In Europe, peak power consumption has also gone down. Italy, Spain, and the UK have all seen an average 10 per cent drop in energy usage with bars, restaurants, offices and factories, which remain closed as social distancing measures continue.
Many discussions abound on how Australia can reach renewable energy targets of 50 per cent and much more. Many experts believe achieving this goal will depend on the availability of a low cost, bulk energy storage infrastructure. Pumped hydro has received much attention in this regard. While technically feasible, bulk storage still requires transmission and distribution infrastructure that is not only costly but will take considerable time to implement. A far simpler and cost effective route is the bottom-up approach of turning each house into an autonomous energy unit. The use of solar panels in homes and small industry has proven to be remarkably successful.
Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft — the five companies that arguably make up “big tech” — say they are either already powered by 100% renewable energy or are close to getting there. Together these companies own and operate more than a hundred data centers (each the size of multiple football fields), close to a thousand offices, and countless other buildings, making them some of the most power-hungry companies in the world. Given this, running on 100% renewable energy is a significant achievement. But there are plenty of critics who argue that these claims are misleading. Some say carbon offsets might do more to assuage guilt than they do to help the environment. To understand where these arguments come from, let’s start with the basics.
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