Record-Breaking Number of Rooftop Solar Panels Installed in Australia
The uptake of rooftop solar panels in Australia has risen considerably in recent years and continues to do so. In 2020, there was a 30% increase on installations completed during the previous year.
According to data provided by the Clean Energy Regulator and analysed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), more than 362,000 rooftop solar PV installations received certificates from the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (STCs) in 2020.
The situation continued to be positive in 2021 as ongoing installations meant that the country reached a point of tripling its capacity since 2017.
As Australia installs a record-breaking number of rooftop solar panels so organisations like CSIRO are in a good position to report on this aspect of the country’s attempt to improve its environmental footing.
Significant increase on solar panel uptake from previous years
Prior to 2020, Australia was already a leading force in residential rooftop solar panel installation and the continuing impressive figures seem set to cement the country in that position. These figures also show that it’s the citizens of the country rather than the government who are leading the way on climate action.
Much of this impetus is due to the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme which provides a financial incentive for small businesses and individuals when they install small-scale renewable energy systems such as solar panels, wind systems, and hydro systems.
Renewable energy solutions are also more affordable overall than they once were which makes them a popular choice. This popularity presents an excellent opportunity for Australia to shine on a global stage especially when the use of Australian science and research is involved.
Areas of the country with the highest levels of rooftop solar panels uptake
While solar PV system uptake has risen throughout Australia, there are some areas where the growth is especially impressive. The top states for growth in 2020 were:
- New South Wales – 108,922 installations
- Queensland – 86,912 installations
- Victoria – 71,798 installations
- Western Australia – 47,653 installations
- South Australia – 35,599 installations
Within these states, it’s interesting to look at the top-performing postcodes. You can see this data displayed in the table below.
|Postcode||Area||Number of systems|
|3064||Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, and Roxburgh Park in Victoria.||2484|
|3029||Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, and Truganina in Victoria.||2435|
|3977||Cranbourne, Sandhurst, and Skye in Victoria.||2036|
|2765||Marsden Park, Berkshire Park, Vineyard, and Box Hill in NSW.||1841|
|6112||Armadale, Forrestdale, and Bedfordale in WA.||1778|
These areas contributed to overall rooftop solar power system figures of 2.68 million across the country by the end of 2020.
Positive use of sunlight that is set to continue
Rooftop solar installations are trending higher each year in Australia. This enables individuals and small businesses to make best use of the natural sunlight in the country. It also means that solar capacity in Australia is expected to continue growing.
This is positive news for a country that already leads the world in its PV capacity when measured per capita. The recently measured figure was 591 watts per person. This is eight times the global average.
It’s easy to understand why this figure is so high when you see that installations during 2020 led to a rooftop solar PV capacity increase of 3 gigawatts (GW). This was a 40% increase on the 2.2 GW capacity added in 2019.
As technology costs continue to decrease, and homeworkers concentrate on improving their properties, the trend for installing rooftop solar panels seems set to continue. This means that Australia’s capacity will also continue to increase.