Rooftop solar boom: more than 395 installations per hour
With more than 9500 solar panels installed every day, the future looks bright for the Australian solar industry.
The installed renewable energy capacity across all states and territories grew by 41% from 2016 to 2017, according to the Clean Energy Regulator’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme data.
More than 1057 megawatts was installed in 2017, and the number is expected to reach over 1070 megawatts, the data revealed. It equates to 3.5 million solar panels being fixed to Australian rooftops.
This brings the total installed small-scale capacity in Australia to more than 6000 megawatts.
There was also a preference for larger capacity systems in 2017 as reducing costs made these more attractive, according to the Clean Energy Regulator. The average solar system capacity has doubled in the five years since 2012, from three to six kilowatts.
“We are seeing a wide cross-section of Australians — households, community centres, schools and small businesses — receiving incentives under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme," said Clean Energy Regulator Executive General Manager Mark Williamson.
Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world, said Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, in a statement.
One in five Australian homes has rooftop solar and an increasing number of small businesses are making the most of the financial and environmental benefits of solar, the statement said.
In 2017, there was a 41% increase in installed renewable energy capacity across all states and territories compared to 2016. Queensland led the way with installed capacity at 295 megawatts, with the Australian Capital Territory taking top place for biggest annual increase, up 57%.
The energy industry continues to see increased penetration of distributed energy generation.
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