Australia has been a global leader in rooftop solar PV penetration for a decade or so — the leader. According to data from SunWiz, which tracks this market, nearly one out of every three Australian homes now has solar panels on top. Furthermore, rooftop solar power is about to become #1 in the country in terms of power generation capacity. Rooftop solar panels combine for approximately 20 gigawatts (GW) of power capacity in Australia, and more that 3.3 million households have rooftop solar PV. Another 10 GW are expected to be installed in just the next 3 years. Rooftop solar PV alone is set to surpass coal power capacity soon — once the 1680-MW Liddell coal power plant is fully closed.
For a long time, South Australia led the country in rooftop solar power penetration. However, it has been surpassed by Queensland, where 82% of roofs deemed suitable for solar PV have them. In South Australia, the figure is 78% — so the state does have the opportunity to regain the lead. In New South Wales and Victoria, solar PV penetration is up to 51% and 43%, respectively, which would be a stunning result and win them the rooftop solar gold medal in any other country.
“Queensland’s relatively sunny climate has encouraged residents there to host 5.2GW of solar PV, with the 1 millionth rooftop solar panel system to be installed soon,” The Guardian writes. “NSW is installing the most additional capacity of any state, with almost 100MW being added monthly, SunWiz said.”
Earlier this year, SunWiz reported that Australia’s solar PV capacity had increased 20% in 2022, by 5.3 GW. That was actually on the back of a very weak first half of the year for residential solar power — but a stronger ending to the year. “This dynamic was driven by people shifting attention to recreation away from home improvement projects, until electricity prices made front page news due to the war in Ukraine.” The residential PV market actually shrank year over year in 2022. The large-scale solar market, however, had a record year, propelling the industry to modest overall growth compared to installations in 2021.
In total, SunWiz says Australia ended the year with 21.7 GW of cumulative rooftop solar PV installations and another 9.7 GW of non-rooftop solar PV. There were more than 300,000 new solar power installations completed in 2022.
For many more details on the Australian solar PV market, get the SunWiz report for 2022.
Featured image courtesy of SunWiz.
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