Small solar installs pass 3 million mark in Australia

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Small-scale solar systems installed by Australian homes and businesses have passed the three million-mark, with one in five homes now generating their own power.

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One Step Off The Grid

Rooftop solar and solar hot water installs in Australia have passed the three million-mark, according to the latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator, as homes and businesses continue to take the power back against rising energy costs.

The CER said on Thursday that the new small-scale solar milestone had been boosted by a renewed boom in rooftop solar installs that meant one in five Australian households were now generating at least some of their own power.

All put together, it said, the millions of small-scale solar systems had the combined capacity to generate – or in the case of solar hot water, to displace – around 12.9 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year.

“This is another milestone demonstrating Australians are making the most of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to access clean, renewable energy systems,” said CER executive general manager Mark Williamson.

“One in five Australian homes now generate their own renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions through rooftop solar,” he said.

The CER said that the majority of the more than three million SRES installations – around 63 per cent – were rooftop solar systems, while the remainder was made up of solar hot water (29%) and heat pumps (8 per cent).

Queensland leads the way, with a record 839,461 small-scale renewable energy systems, followed by New South Wales with 694,154 systems, and Victoria with 636,157. Western Australia has installed a total of 436,611.

“Over the past few years we have seen a trend of larger systems being installed as technology advances and prices fall,” Mr Williamson said.

“These larger systems are not just being installed by households. More schools, community groups and businesses are installing systems and seeing the financial and environmental benefits of renewable energy.”

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.

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14 Comments
  1. Pedro 10 months ago

    Really like the info-graphic. Would also be good to see the MW capacity in each state as well.

    I wonder if the LNP has seen it? Might persuade them to get with the program as 20% of Australian households have done.

    • George Darroch 10 months ago

      Nothing will persuade them.

      • jeffhre 10 months ago

        Ha ha, they will get with the program. In the not too distant future, the only actions that would allow economic transactions involving thermal energy to be profitable will involve commiting jail-able offenses. At that point the coalition will say they invented RE, and labor policies were the only things that slowed down the transition.

    • Ian 10 months ago

      The Coalition’s agenda and belief system is different to those that believe anthropomorphic global warming to be a serious problem and that renewables are a good way to combat this . They see this behind-the-meter, reduction in the electricity market and it annoys them no end. So many have been able to reduce their reliance on the grid and that’s a horrendous loss of business for them and their incumbent mates. They worry that this renewables thing will spread to Australia’s coal customers overseas, especially places like India and South East Asia and they won’t be able to flog off our coal to these people

  2. George Michaelson 10 months ago

    I wish I could persuade our body corporate to discuss this seriously for shared electricity costs. We have four 12 storey skyviews, all with AirCon plant which would benefit from screening, with minor issues around airflow. The surface area for generation won’t supply the homes, but it would meet the shared property energy costs.

    • MaxG 10 months ago

      Screen and add a roof for the AC system?!

    • Ray Miller 10 months ago

      Body corporate implementation of energy efficiency, combined with intelligently designed PV is a potential gold mine to them.
      One would think that clubbing together with not only common services and collective bargaining should give the end consumer many opportunities for major savings?

      I share your view it would seem many of our communities seem ill-equipped to make intelligent long-term decisions for their own benefit. The situation of BC’s mirrors the political system, over represented with “empty vessels”. One would think we should have learned by now?

      • Hettie 10 months ago

        So prepare a fully costed businessential proposal. Include 3 quotes, sketches of what it will look like. START with a statement of what the BC is currently paying for power, how that pans out for each owner.
        That should provoke the general reaction, “Shit! I didn’t realise it was THAT much!” Opens minds remarkably.
        Then what do you propose, why. What will it cost to implement over say 4 years. Net cost for those 4 years, annual saving thereafter.
        Big font size, lots of white space, terms that a reasonably smart 8 year old can understand.
        Perhaps a suggestion about testing the effect of a slightly lower or higher temp setting on monthly cost.
        Good luck!

  3. George Darroch 10 months ago

    Great news. We’ll get to 2 million rooftop PV systems before very long!

    Is it still economical for households to use solar hot water heating, or has PV surpassed it completely?

    • Chris Fraser 10 months ago

      With heater CoPs of 4+ I don’t think so. Still, those plate and evacuated tube systems are so long lasting you want to keep them on.

  4. Chris Fraser 10 months ago

    NSW carries the bulk of the Australian population but has again gone missing in action before contributing its proper share of rooftop systems. Perhaps the FiT although generous was shut off a little early. This is obviously a policy cue for Luke Foley don’t we Welshpersons think so ?

    • George Darroch 10 months ago

      They’re catching up.

  5. Ray Miller 10 months ago

    Well done Australia with one in five homes having solar PV or water heating, now for the other four! What a great opportunity.

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