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Solar milestone: 1,000,000 PV systems installed in Australia

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The number of Australian homes with rooftop solar power systems has passed the magic one million mark, according to figures from the Clean Energy Regulator, confirming that the milestone was reached in March.

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SunWiz analysis of the REC Registry contained within PV market insights

With Queensland leading the charge – it now has more than 300,000 rooftop PV systems installed, NSW comes in second with just under 230,000 – the one millionth PV system was registered in Australia on March 12; a number the industry says translates to around 2.5 million Australians now living in a home with a set of solar panels on the roof – more than the entire population of Western Australia.

“It is remarkable when you think that just five years ago in 2008 there were only about 20,000 systems installed across the entire country,” Clean Energy Council chief executive David Green said.

“For some years solar has been most enthusiastically embraced by those in mortgage-belt suburbs, retirement areas and regional parts of the country. People from all walks of life have been installing solar as a way of protecting themselves from power price pain over the long term.”

As we wrote in November last year, “a whole series of surveys and postcode analysis have shown that Australia has one of the highest deployments of small scale systems on household roofs in the world – beaten only by Japan – and most of this has been put on the rooftops of households in the nation’s mortgage belts, in the city and in regional areas. And now a look at the latest top 10 solar postcodes in Australia (see table below) helps put paid to that persistently-peddled myth that rooftop solar is a middle class indulgence.

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Green said that as well as offering households a way to cut soaring power bills, the rooftop solar industry had been a boon to the Australian economy, employing over 8,000 people and leading to billions of dollars in investment. He said the increasing uptake of solar PV systems could also help the the electricity network cope with periods of high demand on very hot days.

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  • Howard Patrick

    But when will we get a national FIT, rather than the dogs breakfast of FITs presently in existence.

    Given when PV produces energy there must be a very strong arguement for the payment of a “Peak” or “Shoulder” rate.

    If that were the case ActewAGL would pay me $0.348900 – because the charging system does not provide for a shoulder rate, despite it being recorded onthe meter.

    No doubt Origin, ActewAGL and the like will continue doing whatever they can to deter the installation of PV by supporting some of the absurdly low FIT rates being offered.

    In government the Coalition can be expected to strongly support the approach being taken by the fossil fuel electricity wholesalers.

  • Steve 1

    It is tinme for the taxpayers and voters who live in these million houses to get organised and start lobbying for a fairer system of feed in tarrifs and to stop the subsidy of fossil fuels.

  • Roger

    In QLD now, it is only .08 cents a Kwh to sell your power to the grid. This is LNP way of trying to stop people installing solar power. Best option now is to build your system to the size of your Bill . I got mine last year , 1.9Kw with a 3 kw inverter .Wiped off my $170-190 Bills and after 3 “Credit” Bills = $240 cheque. Have just upped the panels to 3 Kw .This is with .44cents Govt.+ .06 cents from Origin .Will take about 4-5 yrs to pay off my infrastructure out lay. I have solar hot water for over 15 yrs. Like in Germany , more solar = less coal burning.

  • Concerned

    And who’s largess paid for all this. The taxpayer and now the consumer via the FIT scheme. Middle class welfare.
    And by the way Roger the Qld Govt is broke, with $83 billion in debt.
    There is no room for any more schemes.

  • ibika

    hi,
    could anyone explain to me why the NT uptake of solar is so so low???. is it a cultural thing?. I would think it would be an ideal place for solar…

  • Danny C

    Concerned should look at the larger longer term picture. The fact that Governments have chosen to support solar by net feed in tariffs is because it delays the day when large scale centralised generation units have to be built – usually with large wads of taxpayer funds – even in Victoria where we have privatised the power stations. Once a critical mass of renewable energy is in place, the actual retail cost of electricity comes down as has been the observed case in South Australia, Germany, Denmark and is the reason why Scotland intends to generate 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Progressive governments introduced this measure, because they realised that it in the long term renewable energy will be the most economical option. They may also have wanted to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, which will prevent Australia being relegated to the same status as Apartheid South Africa in the global warming context. The old adage applies. If you want something good, you have to pay for it.

  • Concerned

    This is getting silly.I must have studied economics at a university that taught the incorrect doctrine.