The total solar eclipse that captivated the United States this week was more than just a celestial spectacle (and a reminder to take care of your eyes). It was also a valuable lesson in how to manage electricity grids when a crucial generation source – solar power, in this case – goes temporarily offline.
The last total solar eclipse to pass over the US was in 1979, a year when President Jimmy Carter was in the midst of the energy crisis and struggling with ballooning oil prices. In response, he made a concerted shift to greater energy independence through alternative energy sources such as solar.
In 2017, almost the whole world is grappling with the transformation of the electricity industry and the move to renewable energy. Read more here.
Over the last few years, Western Australia has become Australia’s leader in the movement towards solar power - and with good reason. With a combination of high electricity prices relative to the national average, and the high levels of sunshine annually (nearly 300 days!), the pay-back for installing solar energy systems is much faster for consumers.
Local businesses are able to source and support consumers and businesses wishing to make the change to solar energy more readily, given that Western Australia is one of the largest producers of lithium in the world - lithium being one of the main materials used to make solar batteries.
Read more about what the ABC has to say via this article: