With 1.4 million households with solar PV installed, rooftop solar has been one of Australia’s renewable energy success stories – a fact that is celebrated in a new report by the Energy Supply Association of Australia.
The report, titled Renewable Energy in Australia – How do we really compare?, notes that while Australia is ranked sixth in the world for total solar per capita, it is number one when it comes to solar on rooftops.
And the ESSA fact sheet has plenty of nice graphics to illustrate this achievement.
“More than one in seven households now have solar PV systems mounted on their roofs, which is a 15 per cent penetration rate,” the report says.
And it shows that South Australia and Queensland are leading the charge, with an average of 25 per cent and 24 per cent of households with solar on their roofs, and some suburbs in Adelaide and Brisbane – like Virginia and Chandler – boasting more than 50 per cent household PV penetration.
“We have double the penetration rates of the next best country, Belgium, and more than three times the level in Germany, which is considered a leader in solar generation,” says ESAA chief Matthew Warren.
The report also shows that South Australia and Tasmania have some of the highest per capita wind generation in the world, alongside leading US states like Iowa and Texas.
The message from this analysis, argues Warren, is that Australia “has not been a laggard” on renewable generation.
“This analysis clearly (shows) that we are have made progress in terms of sourcing energy from wind and solar and this can be expected to continue,” he says.
It’s an interesting message, coming from ESAA, which has in the past lobbied to have Australia’s Renewable Energy Target reduced and, more specifically, for the removal of upfront payments under the small-scale technology component of the RET – a measure aimed squarely at slowing rooftop solar uptake.
It seems to suggest that Australia is tracking just fine in its shift to renewable energy, as it tackles the dual task of emissions reduction and the modernisation of its grid. But surely the ESAA is not arguing that Australia has done enough.
The chart below, which is included on ESAA’s fact sheet, tells another story: That Australia is also among the world’s leading consumers of coal power generation. Anyone else confused?