Installations of small-scale rooftop solar panels reached 2.13GW in calendar 2019 – a jump of 35 per cent over the previous year – after a record surge in the month of December.
According to industry statistician Sunwiz, 220MW of small scale rooftop solar was installed in December – nearly 10 per cent above the previous record levels in October and November, and despite the usual slowdown around Christmas.
The surge in December took the cumulative total in Australia to 10.2 gigawatts – installed on 2.3 million different buildings (mostly homes). And the boom won’t stop anytime soon, with the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Clean Energy Regulator (and now the federal government) expecting the total to reach more than 25GW by the end of the new decade in 2030.
Small scale rooftop solar is defined as installations of 100kW or less – and which qualify for an upfront rebate (which are being wound back each year and which will be eliminated by 2030). Larger rooftop solar systems operate under a different scheme, along with utility-scale solar farms.
According to Sunwiz, the combined total of solar – both small scale and large scale reached 3.3GW in 2019, although the large scale figures for the latest month have yet to be added. In 2018, the figure was 3.6GW with a much higher amount of large scale additions.
In the last month, NSW led the way for small scale rooftop solar with a new record for any state of 2, followed by Queensland with 59 and Victoria with 43MW.
Queensland remains the overall leader with 2.9GW of small scale rooftop solar installations, followed by NSW with 2.4GW and Victoria with 1.99GW. That state will likely have broken through the 2GW barrier in early January.
South Australia and Western Australia also have more than 1.2GW.
The average size of the rooftop solar system has grown to 8kW – thanks to the growing interest of small and medium sized business who are adding solar in increasing numbers to reduce their electricity bills.