A Fairer Renewable Energy Policy for Aged Care Communities: Data Driven Insights across Climate Zones

Aaron Liu, Wendy Miller, Tan Yigitcanlar, Sherif Zedan, Yang Yang, James Chiou, James Mantis, Michael O'Sullivan
2022 Buildings  
Communal living for older people exists in many different forms, such as suburban communities, lifestyle communities, retirement villages and residential aged care communities (RAC) where electricity is supplied via a main gate meter to the whole community. Australia's Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme incentivizes individuals and businesses to install renewable energy systems up to 100 kW peak. A system of this size, however, may not meet a community's energy needs or sustainability goals.
more » ... contrast, other residential dwellings are allowed to install a minimum solar inverter of 5 kW. Therefore, this paper investigates small-scale renewable energy targets on a per bed basis for RACs and the impact of a change from the current 100 kWpeak small-scale renewable energy policy. A data driven clustering-based method has been implemented to identify financially optimal photovoltaic (PV) system ratings for ten RACs across four climate zones. Explored are 100 kWpeak PV and net zero electricity scenarios. Results show RACs with 5 kW PV per bed can move closer to a net zero electricity goal and generate 800 to 1400 GWh of renewable electricity each year with significant financial savings. A fairer renewable policy, based on kilowatts per bed, is advocated to improve communities' energy resilience, financial sustainability, and environmental sustainability.
doi:10.3390/buildings12101631 fatcat:fphjvhxspvctdozd4sh7qedbna