Unless you’re a weather enthusiast, you might have heard the term ‘La Nina’ and not given it much thought. However, as Australia braces for its third consecutive summer La Nina event, it’s worth learning more about it. Plus, there is an impact on the solar and renewable energy industry in Australia.
What is La Nina?
La Nina is a weather pattern that sees strong winds blow across the Pacific Ocean, which ultimately pushes warm surface water towards Asia and parts of Australia. Thanks to this warmer water, higher rainfall comes with the La Nina weather pattern.
Interestingly, La Nina has an opposite weather pattern in El Nino, which sends winds and warm surface water toward South America. While this increases rainfall in those parts, it results in much dryer conditions for Australia.
Typically, the weather patterns alternate, and we don’t see a La Nina event two years in a row, however, forecasters have predicted that’s exactly what we can expect in 2022, following on from last year’s La Nina event.
In fact, the last time this occurred was between 2010-2012, but it followed a prolonged period of drought. So, while it was welcome in some respects, it still caused some of Australia’s biggest floods in recent years.
How does it affect solar and renewable energy?
The impacts on the renewable energy industry are sometimes at a higher level. For example, many renewable energy technologies rely on climate modelling and data for maximum effectiveness. Cold and wet weather also leads to an increase in demand for energy, so there is a challenge for energy companies and distributors.
For residential solar customers, the impacts can also be felt. Of course, more rainy conditions can mean less sunshine, so this can cause lower solar energy generation. However, with most solar customers still connected to the main grid, they will still have access to plenty of power and no shortfalls are expected in that regard.
One thing to be wary of, though, is that hailstorms can cause damage to solar panels. This will be something for homeowners to monitor as summer progresses.
Looking to make the solar switch?
Halcol Energy provides solar packages to suit all homes and all budgets. We also offer free consultations where we can give you an idea of the money you could save by switching to solar. Solar is still the best way to slash your energy bills and power your home with natural resources. Contact our friendly team today to find out more.