The “sunburnt country” of Australia has now passed the milestone of having a substantial 3 gigawatts of solar power installed, RenewEconomy has reported. That amounts to over 1.1 million (1,157,000) solar systems installed nationwide, on 14% of all dwellings. In the state of South Australia, 25% of households have solar installed. In the very sunny northern state of Queensland, solar has reached the 1 gigawatt mark, which amounts to 22% of dwellings.
Despite a change to a right wing government that is decidedly unsupportive of ambitious renewable energy development, solar power is still reshaping Australia’s traditionally coal-heavy electricity market. It’s amazing that just 4 years ago in 2009, Australia only had 180 megawatts of solar installed. A great deal of this growth has been due to feed-in tariffs, but the future is still looking pretty good.
Most of Australia’s solar capacity has been installed on residential dwellings, with “a growing number” on commercial rooftops. There is certainly a lot of room for further growth there. Australia currently only has one solar panel array larger than 1.2 megawatts, which is a 10MW solar farm in Greenough River, Western Australia; three other large projects are under construction.
Despite the change of government and the contraction from the “feed-in Tariff inspired peaks” of mid 2012, the solar market in Australia is so far remaining stable. In a country as sunny as Australia, with the price of solar panels dropping all the time, why wouldn’t it remain stable? The rise of solar is not over in Australia, not by a long shot.