Harnessing Solar in El Niño Times: Why It’s Crucial for Australia

The effects of El Niño and how solar power could help reduce its negative effects.

As El Niño rears its head again, Australia braces for potential impacts. From strained agriculture to volatile energy prices, the challenges are numerous. But among these challenges lies an unprecedented opportunity: the adoption of solar energy to help manage the impact on your life and home.

The Strain on Our Power Grid

No single factor affects the power industry more than weather. A quick look back at 2019 gives us a taste of what an El Niño summer can entail. Over 200,000 Victorian customers were left without power during extreme heat. As temperatures soar, our power grid feels the strain from multiple directions:

  • Increased Demand: During heat waves electricity demand peaks in part due to air conditioners working overtime to keep people cool,  leading to peaks in demand and increased upward pressure on power costs,  putting strain on the electricity grid.
  • Reduced Efficiency: Hotter temperatures mean our coal, gas, solar, and wind generators operate less efficiently.
  • Transmission Line Limitations: The capacity for energy transportation diminishes as temperatures rise, resulting in potential blackouts.

Furthermore, as we transition to homes powered by electricity and replacing gas the demand on our grid will only increase. Getting solar installed is a way to still benefit from an all electric home without having to pay for expensive grid energy to reap the benefits. 

Lessons from the Past

December 2019 and January 2020 were marked by devastating fires that caused massive damages to our power network. Over 5,000 power poles needed replacement, and the National Electricity Market reported more than 80,000 power outages.The slow recovery from such events underscores the vulnerabilities in our current system. As thousands were left without power for weeks, the prices for electricity temporarily skyrocketed in certain regions.

It’s happening now

We’ve already had some of the hottest days on record for the time of year already this year. And only as recently as this last week, Adelaide saw a mammoth storm roll in that resulted in up to 33,000 properties being left without power as a result of wild unpredictable weather (strong winds, lightning, hail, torrential rain). These types of events are likely to become more frequent as summer arrives and El Ninio takes effect. 

Solar: The Way Forward

As we navigate these challenges, solar energy, especially solutions that include a solar battery and Virtual Power Plant offering, presents itself as a solution to help people navigate this “petulant little boy”. Not only does it help alleviate the strain on the grid, but it also offers households a way to combat power costs that could keep increasing. It also gives an option to build personal and community resilience by being less reliant on grid power, plus an option to add blackout protection, helping to avoid the effects of potential blackouts that have been so prevalent in past El Niño years.


The El Niño conditions serve as a reminder of the imperativeness of diversifying our energy sources. As we face potential power disruptions and escalating costs, transitioning to solar becomes not just an environmentally-conscious decision, but a smart, forward-looking one that insulates you better against the potentially negative effects of this extreme weather event.

Interested in making the switch? 

Request a Quote and fortify your home against the challenges of El Niño.

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