Free Engineer advises commercial and residential clients on solar and other energy-reduction solutions. We asked them what they’re seeing and hearing from clients.

Renewable energy is becoming more prominent all the time because it’s not only more affordable but also more financially beneficial than our current major sources of energy.

We’re seeing a significant shift toward renewable sources in many European countries, especially, and also here in Australia, with huge projects either already underway or slated for the next few years.

With increasing public and private investment in research and development, we’re seeing almost constant improvements in technology, which means even more efficient systems.

For example, now skyscrapers can be built with solar panelled glass windows and homes with solar roof tiles.

We assess current situations and recommend changes

The best way to do energy projects is to have a roadmap. We start by seeing where you’re at, based on your consumption over the past 12 months, looking at bills and the measurement data, and then we map out how much you could reduce and how you would do it.

We often have to overcome the obstacles of confusion, misunderstanding, and preconceptions, but by informing and educating people we can build trust. Regardless, sometimes we find that the financial outlay required is a barrier for some businesses going ahead with a project.

To some degree providing the information and educating people is a first step and we’re happy to do that so they can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead or not.

In some cases, people have the motivation of doing the right thing by the environment but they don’t have an appreciation of costs, benefits, and potential savings.

There have been a few people asking – probably because of the publicity around Elon Musk and Tesla – “how could I go off-grid completely?”. We don’t recommend going completely with battery storage just yet (unless there is a specific reason to do that) as the economics don’t really work out.

 

Are we still seeing a lot of change in the market?

We went to a solar energy expo earlier this year where a few different experts shared their views on the market. Because of the increasing cost of electricity and heightened concerns about the security of supply during periods of high demand, this year is expected to be another boom one for solar.

As there’s more discussion about the non-renewable energy resources running out, we not only see and hear about more investment in renewable energy and more research into the technology behind it, but also a greater awareness of those things. People are thinking more how can we do it better, cheaper, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly.

There’s no doubt that developments and innovations are set to continue. As early as next year, we might see an announcement about an affordable, mass-produced electric car.

However, we have to keep in mind that a lot of innovation takes some time from its launch or inception to when it becomes commercially viable, and it may even change to some degree before we are in a position to start implementing it.

The renewable energy industry is moving very rapidly, but because we are more on the practical project implementation side, we need to be focused on what’s available now and about to become available in the next six months or so.

 

Free Engineer supports World Vision’s Multiplying Gift Appeal which delivers food aid in partnership with the World Food Programme.

Every 4 kW of residential solar panels you install through Free Engineer can help provide life-saving food assistance to 20 people for one month.

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