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Busting 5 myths about renewable energy

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Busting 5 myths about renewable energy
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Can choosing ‘greener’ energy for your home really make a difference? Does it cost more? And what about old king coal? Read below as we take on 5 myths about renewable energy that well and truly need busting.

#1: It’s a fad

Fads flame out quickly. Renewable energy is here to stay, and the cost of its generation keeps falling.

You know things are getting serious when a global corporate such as Google purchases a whopping 3 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity — that’s equal to what all of its offices and data centres around the world use on an annual basis. Closer to home, our electricity generation from renewables has been growing too. According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, its most recent statistics for 2017-2018 shows significant growth in renewable generation over the last 10 years by 72%, with 17% of electricity generation currently attributed to renewable energy.

Greener electricity solutions have grown over the last decade to become a real and sustainable choice for Australian households and capacity is continuing to grow. Does that sound like a fad to you?

#2: It doesn’t make a difference

Oh, but it does.

In Australia, buying electricity such as GreenPower, a government-accredited scheme, lets you support renewable energy generation by displacing your household carbon emissions with certified renewable energy. And the more customer demand, the more encouragement for further investment in that renewable energy generation – wind, solar, hydro and battery backup.

We’ve explained the whole GreenPower thingy in simple terms in a blog post. Have a read and feel the power.

#3: You can’t trust that it is actually green

Conspiracy theories might be fun, but they don’t change facts and evidence. Here are the facts.

The government’s GreenPower Program organises publicly available independent auditing of all GreenPower Providers, to make sure companies (like ours) are investing in renewable energy on the customer’s behalf. If you have a head for detail, you can read the annual audits.

As for Powershop, keeping our status as a certified carbon neutral electricity retailer means we are tested against the ongoing requirements of the government’s Carbon Neutral Standard. We’ve put together a little Q&A about what carbon neutral means and why it’s a good thing to choose carbon neutral electricity retailers.

#4: Coal is more reliable for the grid

At best, that’s a deliberately vague statement designed to comfort the non-curious. At worst, it’s just a bunch of baloney.

The early success of Tesla’s large scale battery farm in South Australia saw it respond in just 140 milliseconds to a coal-fired plant failure in December 2017, delivering enough gigawatts of power to help stabilise the grid and prevent a blackout.

Aging coal-fired plants on their own are unlikely to deliver reliable electricity in the future, not to mention the problems of high carbon emissions and the maintenance costs. Battery storage can help solve the problem of solar and wind’s oft-criticised “intermittency”. The future is clear: an increasing amount of renewables in Australia’s energy mix.

#5: It costs too much

It doesn’t have to.

We’ll cut to the chase here. Why not submit a PDF of your latest bill to us via the Powershop website for a quick comparison with your current electricity provider? We’ll give you an estimate on whether you could save at Powershop. Saving money and supporting a greener energy company – it can happen.

If it’s 100% carbon neutral power you’re after, you can get that from us at no extra cost. Or, spend a little more for GreenPower and it will probably only cost you only around $3 a week more than regular power from your current supplier.

Then there are the wonders of smart meters – gadgets that can be installed on your power board. These relay data that we display on our smartphone app providing really valuable info so you can understand your power use at home. You’ll learn how to use less and save more. More good news: Powershop customers can request to have a smart meter installed free of charge.

Originally published on Live For Less.

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22 comments on "Busting 5 myths about renewable energy"
  1. Kiara Henning, September 27, 2018:

    Thanks for busting myths and aware numerous people for the same.

    Loved to know such valuable information on Renewable energy.

    Yandiya Infrared Heater is a quite good option to keep a home for longer times at lower energy costs.

  2. ernie, December 2, 2018:

    So who pays for green credits? In the endvits the consumer which pushes prices up .so yoh can pay @3 extra so power prices can rocket to pay pay just $3 extra. Stupid…
    The ones who can least afford it subsidise those who cant afford it either.
    Green credits are just a scam.

    • Powershop, January 2, 2019:

      Hey Ernie – we’re sorry you feel that way. We offset all of our customers power use at no cost to the consumer. This is at the expense of Powershop, which doesn’t result in price hikes to our amazing customers. We give our customers the option to also purchase GreenPower, which is a government initiative and includes a premium if customers want to further increase the demand for renewable energy, but this is not something we can control or subsidise. So we ensure that the purchase of GreenPower is not required to offset our customers usage – we do all of that for them, for free. Thanks, Monica

  3. Bill Murphy, December 18, 2018:

    I presume you sell solar panels.

    • Powershop, January 2, 2019:

      Hi Bill, we don’t sell solar panels but if this is something you wanted to look into we do offer a Solar Advisory Service for anyone wishing to install solar in VIC, NSW and South East Queensland. Of course, you can always choose your own installer – this is just our handpicked panel of installers with the best reputations, best quality products and warranties and best post installation care. You don’t even have to be a Powershop customer to access this service. Feel free to have a read here – https://www.powershop.com.au/solar-energy/better-solar/ Thanks, Monica

  4. Ertimus J Waffle, December 25, 2018:

    When the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow no matter how many windmills or solar panels you have you have 0000000000000000000 power unless you have a coal fired back up that will cost you more than 95% of the population can afford.

    More rubbish from the deluded climate change scammers.

    • Powershop, January 2, 2019:

      Hey Ertimus – we’re sorry you feel like that. There’s no denying renewable energy is intermittent and there’s lots to be done to further support the grid (hello batteries and much more). All we’re highlighting here is that mother nature is a wonderful thing and we love generating all our energy from it. When the wind is blowing, sun is shining and rivers flowing, we’re happy and we want to make our customers happy too.

  5. Alan Arnell, December 26, 2018:

    Where will all the solar panels be deposed when their use by time comes same for wind power towers.

    • Powershop, January 2, 2019:

      Hey Alan – this is a great question! We’re big on sustainable practices and recycling companies for solar panels have emerged over recent years which we think is just fantastic. Where possible with wind turbines we also recommend recycling with exciting innovations around resin turbines to improve sustainability. The future is looking greener than ever! Thanks, Monica

  6. Noel Coxhead, December 29, 2018:

    So like with water bills we may pay less for consumption using renewables (such as installing our own solar system) but these savings will be offset by higher service charges to maintain the national grid. Wake up Australia you are being sold half the story!

  7. Stefan, January 2, 2019:

    Thank you powershop for a light and easy reading version of a big and complicated issue. I’ve been a happy customer for 2 years and didn’t even know you are carbon neutral. We just signed up for the deals.

    Extremely dissapointed with some of the passionate anti-renewable responses. Not surprised given all the bad press and all the fear around it.

    What amazes me is that whether you believe in it or not, the future is clearly renewable and the quicker we get there the better for everyone. It’s not costing me any more today, getting cheaper by the day, and set to be huge savings ahead.

    I run a business and know you have to embrace innovation to stay competitive. I like your disruption model to the traditional energy providers. It’s gutsy.

    I want to be part of that.

  8. David Langdown, January 3, 2019:

    Cheap more efficient wind power ? Just a dream. A 2 megawatt windmill contains 260 tons of Steel. This requires 170 tons of coking coal, 300 tons of Iron Ore. All mined,transported and produced by Hydro Carbon spewing processes and machines. Such a Windmill could spin until it falls apart and will never generate as much energy as was used in building and installing it, not to mention maintenance. So where is the brains in using these eyesore monstrosities.

    • Powershop, January 17, 2019:

      Hi David, thanks for the response. No doubt we’ve got progress to be made but luckily for us latest innovations on recyclable resin wind turbines were announced last year – making the future of wind turbines even more sustainable. Cant wait to see what the future holds. Thanks, Monica

  9. Ketil, January 4, 2019:

    Germany is a brilliant example of how “unreliables” don’t work to supply a society with power. 172000 blackouts in 2016 and a tremendous increase in power price. In addition they now put out more CO2 than ever (not that this makes any substantial difference to the temperature on the planet). Just cop it, the only power source that works in Oz is nuclear apart from fossils. Solar and batteries are only good for small scale off grid solutions. Energy for any society needs to be reliable, cheap and abundant.

  10. Rosco, January 4, 2019:

    I clicked on this site thinking it was going to be a genuine attempt to dispel myths. But the opposite is true – you’ve perpetuated them. It’s true that wind and solar power prices are coming down all the time – because us mug taxpayers are very heavily subsidising them with both grants and RECS. Less bullshit, more facts please.

  11. Ross, January 21, 2019:

    So you are just another retailer, correct? You don’t actually produce electricity so how do I know that the electricity coming into my room is green, whatever that means? Can you guarantee that it is only produced by a renewable power source, and hasn’t been mixed with coal, gas or hydro electricity?

    • Powershop, February 22, 2019:

      Hi Ross, you make a really good point. For starters, our parent company, Meridian Energy, is Australasia’s largest 100% renewable generator with wind farms and hydro assets across three states and agreements with a bunch more renewable generators in Australia. This means that all the energy generated by us is 100% renewable – just the way we like it! But you’re right, when our clean power mixes with dirty power, generated from coal stations, in the grid it becomes impossible to know what type comes to your home. This is why we 100% carbon-offset all of the energy at your home at no extra cost to you because its the right thing to do by our customers and the environment. I hope this helps! To understand more have a read of this blog – https://www.powershop.com.au/blog/powershop-carbon-offsetting-what-how-why/ Cheers, Monica

  12. Keith, January 26, 2019:

    And all your So called green lithium batterys wot are you going to do with they finish there life ????
    Just take them to the tip, rubbish dump

    • Powershop, February 22, 2019:

      Hey Keith! Good call – we need to be recycling our batteries too! According to Sustainability Victoria Less than 3 per cent of all batteries purchased in Australia are currently recycled, the rest are sadly going to landfill. This means that over 14,000 tons of batteries are destined for landfill each year. Australia’s performance compares very poorly with the recovery rates of other counties. France recovers 36 per cent of all batteries sold into the market and Switzerland recovers an impressive, but achievable, 72 per cent. To recycle batteries, they are sorted by chemistry type and are sent on to the respective recyclers in Australia and overseas. Precious materials and resources are recovered from the batteries and this includes rechargeable batteries. To find out how we can all play a part in recycling batteries head here – https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Waste-and-recycling/Household-waste/Batteries

  13. Peter, January 30, 2019:

    The Tesla Li ion battery in South Australia has enough power to supply Tomago Hunter Valley smelter for a mind boggling 7 minutes, that’s right- 7 minutes.
    Supplying the grid with heavily tax payer subsidised wind & solar generated power during daylight means coal fired generators have to be throttled back at this time causing them to be stressed & less efficient.
    If you really want to acheive less pollution then do something about global population before nature does it for you.

  14. Pentti Soininen, February 1, 2019:

    Solar and wind power is useful and helpful in small scale, but in large scale it will become a nightmare in regards with all the problematic waste it generates in particular created by batteries. It will have reverse effect on environment. And we will be using limited limited resources, such lithium.

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