Rooftop PV is Australia’s Second Largest Generator Now, says AEC

Highlights :

  • At more than 14.7 GW rooftop solar is now the second largest generator by capacity in Australia, according to the Australian Energy Council’s latest Quarterly Solar Report.
  • While coal-fired generation has more capacity, rooftop solar is continuing to expand with 109,000 systems installed in the second quarter this year.

At more than 14.7 GW rooftop solar is now the second largest generator by capacity in Australia, according to the Australian Energy Council’s (AEC) latest Quarterly Solar Report. We have reported earlier on how Australia has been one of those rare large markets where rooftop solar had led growth over utility solar. This has been due to both the subsidies offered, the sprawling spread of residential houses and farms in many cases, plus the issues with the grid in Australia, where it has made more sense to push rooftop solar initially. Currently, over 21% of Australian households are estimated to have rooftop solar .

The AEC report shows that while coal-fired generation has more capacity, rooftop solar is continuing to expand with 109,000 systems installed in the second quarter this year.

“While the 2020/21 financial year was difficult for most industries due to the impact of COVID-19, Australia’s rooftop solar PV industry does not appear to have been overly affected, based on this AEC analysis,” said AEC Chief Executive Sarah McNamara.

“All jurisdictions, except the Northern Territory, hit records for the number of solar panels installed compared to the previous financial year.

“During the 2020/21 financial year, around 373,000 solar systems were installed on Australian homes, up from 323,500 during 2019/20. Installed capacity also jumped from 2,500MW to more than 3,000MW.

“Continued low technology costs, increased working from home arrangements, and a shift in household spending to home improvements during the COVID-19 pandemic played a key role in the increase of rooftop solar PV systems,” said Ms McNamara.

Solar Uptake by State:

  • New South Wales cracked the nation’s top five with two postcodes during the 2021 financial year. The biggest growth for New South Wales solar installations was north west of the Sydney CBD.
  • Victorian postcodes 3029 (Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina) and 3064 (Donnybrook) have held the top ranks for the past two years, these suburbs had an equivalent number of solar systems installed with capacities of approximately 18.9 MW.
  • Queensland claimed four spots during 2020 but southwest Brisbane’s 4300 is the only postcode in the top 10 in 2021, ranking third with nearly 2,400 systems installed and 18.1MW connected to the grid.
  • Western Australia now has three postcodes in the top 10, each installed around 1800 systems with a capacity of 12MW in FY21.

The Australian Energy Council represents 20 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia, sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses, and are major investors in renewable energy generation.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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