Terry spoke with Ecogeneration about the changes for consumers in the residential sector. www.ecogeneration.com.au
ACDC Energy is a Queenslandbased residential and commercial solar installation company that specialise in the design and construction of solar PV systems for commercial and high-end residential projects. ACDC Energys’ Terry Davis talks to Ecogeneration about the residential sector and how the next five years will see large changes for consumers.
How did you get involved in the renewables sector?
I became involved with the solar and renewables industry around 2006/2007. I had been working in the civil engineering and spatial science industries but looked to move into renewables, speeifically the solar and storage industry. I attended courses and seminars, read books and technical articles with the aim to become involved from a design, build and commission facet.
What type of installations do you do and for what sector of industry?
At ACDC Energy we design and construct mainly commercial solar PV systems, large off grid systems, and higher end residential home solar systems. We primarily work with businesses in the medical, agribusiness, automotive, lighting and metal manufacturing industries and most of our commercial client portfolio is via referral. We partner with companies and people who are passionate about the industry, their products and are always listening and improving the product for the endcustomer, designer and installer alike.
One of our partners, Redback Technologies has taken a holistic approach in the design of its Smart Hybrid System. It’s quick and easy to install, has an aesthetic design and can be installed inside or outside a home. Its product is an all in one solution, with AC/DC switching and UPS built within the system. It also has a fast charge and discharge from the various batteries available. The system is IP65 rated and can provide power at any time, enablingusers to save power for use at another time or sell back to the grid.
Have you seen a greater uptake in the renewables sector especially with residential?
The residential sector has been changing and the average homeowner has become more renewable or solar aware. Many residential customers request information on batteries, hybrid systems and a large number have a desire to eventually defect from the grid. They are better informed today and their general understanding of how systems work, incentives available and knowledge of government policies, federally or locally has vastly improved. This, I believe has evoked a greater uptake of renewables.
How mainstream will solar become in Australia in the next five years and why?
The next five years will see large changes for the solar industry. There will be a significant uptake in commercial solar penetration and we can expect up to 30% greater penetration among small to medium businesses. The incentive to take up commercial solar systems for small to medium businesses will be economic, as utilities move from charging for energy usage to charging for power (demand kW), energy usage (kWh) and grid power losses. Additionally, residential homes will have a much larger uptake of electrical vehicles – EVs, and home energy loads will increase greatly due to this. The solar industry needs to become aware and look to renewable solutions to manage increased loads.
What have been the biggest changes to the sector over the last five years?
The biggest changes we’ve seen in the last five years have been price per watt of a module which has fallen well below a $1/ watt and a decrease in the price of batteries. Large solar PV farms are being built right across Australia and it’s not news in just one state, it’s happening in everyone’s backyard now. It’s been great to see a greater number of people who are better trained in an industry which is set to grow significantly.