Small-scale solar system capacity surpasses 4GW in Australia

Good news to all Australians who use solar! According to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute the country has generated over 4GW of energy from small-scale solar installations. This came only a few days after the APVI revealed the remarkable feat that one in five houses across the country owned a solar system.

The APVI findings are a result of the information gathered by their live ‘solar map’ that tracks capacity, output and generation share of all rooftop solar PV systems across the country.

APVI stated that the surpassing of the 4GW mark means that rooftop solar PV capacity has grown four times since 2011.

Small-scale solar installation boom continues

The current number of installed rooftop solar PV in the country are generating an approximate 5,250 gigawatt hours of solar electricity every year. In several suburbs, particularly in Queensland and South Australia, over 40 per cent of households have a small-scale solar installation of some kind.

Data gathered from the Green Energy Trading and network operators also confirm the findings of the APVI. Green Energy Trading’s also indicates that there are over 15,000 households in the country which are adding solar every month. That means there are at least 600MW of solar capacity that were installed in the first 10 months of 2014.

Queensland is found to be the biggest solar state in Australia

An estimated 27 per cent of households in South Australia have small-scale solar. But most of the solar systems were installed in Queensland, about 1.25 GW, which is more than twice the capacity of South Australia.

The growth in the country’s small-scale solar market from 2001 to 2010 was approximately 15 per cent, based on the figures collected by APVI. This is followed by another sharp growth from 2010 to 2013.

But the small-scale solar market has since stabilized, although considerable uptakes are expected to continue as households search for ways to save on their electricity bills.

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Rooftop solar PV growth in Australia
Graph sourced from APVI showing the growth of rooftop solar PV installations within Australia

In addition, APVI estimates that over 14,000 small-scale solar were installed in November, 2014. It should be noted that the highest number of solar power installations occurred in June, 2011, where about 69,000 systems were hooked up.

In contrast, the greatest quantity of kilowatt capacity was installed in June, 2012, which is approximately 179, 256 kW.

Positive trend expected to continue within solar industry

Installed prices of solar power systems in the country have dropped steadily in recent years while the average size of installation has increased.

Spectators assert these two variables are inherently linked and as such, as long as this trend continues, there will be positive growth within the industry.

The Author

Motivated and dynamic journalist with a strong interest in sustainable solar powered technology. My work in journalism and new media has provided me with a medium to produce content concerning emerging renewable energy.

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