Brief History of solar energy
On February 14, solar power advocacy group Solar people will hold a three-dayHere, solar veteran and business owner Nigel Morris recounts the main milestones he has witnessed over his 34 12 months trip into solar power.
In 1982, like numerous students I became shown a terrifying black and white film of how to proceed in the event of nuclear attack in school. The cool war was however live and for the first-time the stark truth that energy sources are effective and contains a price hit me – I’m fifteen years old.
It had been exactly the same 12 months that Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins built a solar power car and drove it from Perth to Sydney in a world initially.
Only four many years later I observed the decriminalisation of homosexuality in NSW, Maralinga Nuclear examinations had been making news and I heardthe term climate change for the first time. Chernobyl also blew up prior to we landed in European countries with a Kombi and a girlfriend (both of that I left), complicating the acquisition of non-radiated meals and forcing me to consider energy the 2nd time. The picture of males in leather aprons becoming fallen on the roofing of an exploded, smouldering nuclear reactor from soviet era helicopters is permanently etched during my head. I’m starting to get mad about power and Governments. Luckily for us, there was punk music to console me.
By 1993 recession had hit Australia and Keating declared united states a Banana Republic. Salt’NPeppa were still cool (to some one), REM had been in their stride and Duran Duran hadn’t gone away however. I’m practically 25yrs old, have my first son or daughter and my very first cellular phone.
I left the “floundering and volatile” automotive industry where I was a fitter and turner and changed my entire life by going bush and having into a “more stable growth business” – solar power in the same year the Kyoto agreement ended up being signed. Within our fledgling solar power company (supplying 100percent off grid methods) we speculated about whenever one, not to mention a million urban domiciles will have solar power and argue about whether “targeting places to market solar” made sense. Meanwhile, Australia’s first grid connected system ended up being installed at Mt Coolum for $27/W – 1.4kW for $40, 000.
Within the next few years we raised my younger family members in a simple off grid house working completely on a small hydro and 120Watts of solar energy panels. Might work day took me to our enhanced factory in which we'd set up Australia’s first 3Phase GC solar system in a passive solar power building. I happened to be interviewed for a newspaper in 1997 and had been quoted as saying “people within the town will be able to put a couple of panels on their roofing, connect up and offer the excess…but we continue to have many years to go before we are competitive.”
By the 12 months 2000 I'd moved to Sydney to simply help run BP Solar as a nationwide management. We recall going to Brisbane to try and convince my dealers to change from off grid battery systems to on grid – and scoffed at me personally. I helped design, patent and launch Australia’s 1st GC solar power system “the Energizer” in addition to Olympic Village had been among the world’s biggest solar power suburbs with 950 methods. A few years later, we setup thousands even more through Solar Cities in Alice Springs, Adelaide and Blacktown. These days, there are many than 1.5 million solar power methods in Australian Continent.
By 2007 a had cultivated from just a handful of solar power companies to 3, 000, 200 workers to 10, 000. Solar prices plummeted by 2/3rd in just a couple of years and I started a consulting business helping to develop solar organizations. Business boomed by 2012 hitting 1 Billion watts setup in that year alone. We start battling – and winning – against successive national attacks on solar rebates and suits as “The pendulum of solar power favour” began to swing against united states.
At our peak, our business grew to produce direct work to around 23, 000; very nearly as much as the complete coal mining business in 2013. We directly employed above all except one industry in power production. However it’s a really tough, very competitive, volatile business with become commoditised and in the end had shrunk by 30percent by 2015. Month-to-month sales had collapsed, tasks and company had been shed. At its worst, above 200 solar power businesses are year were collapsing or leaving. The only real great news ended up being that unlike our old-fashioned energy rivals, our industry ended up being getting more effective and employment effective.
Inspite of the setbacks, consumers aren’t stopping on solar by 2015 we nonetheless employed as many hard working Australians as Ford, GMH and Toyota blended (direct) or put another way, approximately as much as every 7Eleven shop.
Our Prime Minister during the time decimated solar customer confidence by declaring “coal is wonderful for humanity” before finally exposure as an onion eating fan work and booted. I compose my third letter to your Prime Minister about solar power policy.
By 2016 it dawns on me that I haven’t commuted on my petrol cycle for 36 months and I also now have my second 100percent electric motorbike, that has enough capacity to run a house.
Things have altered! 1.3million solar energy panels tend to be put in in an outback town and these day there are 1.5 million solar homes and more than 10, 000 nevertheless employed in solar. We achieve a historic brand new milestone with 23 million solar panel systems set up all over the country, one for each man woman and kid in Australian Continent.