The environmental benefits of renewable energy projects have been discussed for many years now, and most Australians will be aware of the increasing number of solar installations cropping up across the country.
With these facts in mind, do Australians actually like the idea of a future powered by the sun rather than the conventional fuels they’ve grown accustomed to? New research from Ipsos and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) investigated the trends shaping Australian attitudes towards these developments, finding that the future is looking bright for renewable electricity.
Australians excited for solar developments
According to the report, there are a number of factors project managers need to consider to ensure their solar developments will be supported by the public. As the Department of Industry and Science has forecast a growth in the number of solar projects deployed throughout Australia, these need to be taken seriously.
Thankfully, most Australians are aware of the role that large-scale solar facilities in particular will play in providing renewable energy. Ipsos and ARENA found that more than three-quarters (77 per cent) support the use of this technology.
One of the key concerns outlined in the research is the potential visual impact of installations if they aren’t effectively integrated with the surrounding landscape. Just under a third (30 per cent) of respondents believe these projects have a negative effect on the landscape.
Solar project best practice guidelines revealed
Along with researching the social trends surrounding solar projects, Ipsos and ARENA outlined guidelines that they believe all future installations should adhere to ensure any negative impacts are minimised.
The social considerations renewable energy projects should follow are:
- Reliability and efficiency – Is the project going to work as intended?
- Visual impacts – Will the installation be an eyesore?
- Environmental impacts – Could construction compromise these ideals?
- Economic and employment impacts – Does it promote a sustainable future for the country?
- Health impacts – Will the structure be safe?
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht says the guidelines have been well received so far, and are likely to shape the future of Australia’s solar development.
“The results show Australians strongly support renewable energy and demonstrate the importance of involving and consulting locals,” he said.
“Key industry participants have welcomed the best practice guidelines, which can help the solar industry more effectively communicate the economic, environmental and social benefits of solar projects to nearby communities.”
To find out how your next solar project can get off the ground smoothly, contact the experts at MPower.