New data from the Australian Clean Energy Regulator has revealed that Australia now has over 750,000 homes with rooftop solar panels installed. This adds up to nearly 1.7 GW of solar power capacity, according to the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA).
In addition, Australia has around 8 million homes, so within the next few months more than 10 percent of homes are expected to have solar panels installed. Within 12 months, Australia is expected to have a million homes with solar installed. The sunny state of Queensland is now the state with the most solar installed in Australia, with 475 MW.
The rate of installation has decreased a little from last year, when over 860 MW of solar PV was installed. However, 600 MW more is expected to be installed this year. The average size of home solar systems has been rising over time. For June 2012, the average size system was 2.84 kw.
This all looks very promising for the future of solar in Australia after a slow start compared to a country such as Germany, most probably due to the vast amounts of fossil fuel resources Australia holds, and exports. Are the days of “let’s just dig another hole”, and build another coal-fired power plant, finally beginning to come to an end for Australia? It should be noted that Australia has just introduced a carbon price/tax, so it’ll be interesting to see what impact that has on the overall solar market.
You may also remember we recently reported that one of the biggest solar manufacturers in the world, China-based, US-listed Yingli, has just announced it is setting up a regional headquarters in Australia. The company noted that Australia has now become one of the world’s most promising solar markets.
If you live in Australia, are you considering installing rooftop solar panels on our home? Sounds like quite a few of your neighbours are.
Images: Fig 1. Cumulative number of solar panels; Fig 2. Cumulative capacity of solar panels (kw)