Record uptake of rooftop solar – CSIRO

Australia installed its highest ever number of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in 2020, according to Clean Energy Regulator data analysed by energy efficiency experts at CSIRO.

The analysis shows that in 2020 in Australia more than 362,000 rooftop solar PV installations were issued with small-scale renewable energy scheme certificates (STCs) under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

This is an increase of 28 per cent from 2019, with the majority of installs under the scheme being residential, and a smaller number for commercial and industrial properties.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said: “Science has made renewables cost competitive with conventional power, letting market forces take over to drive a global transition to lower emissions.

“Australia’s solar advantage creates an economic opportunity for us on the world stage and an environmental benefit for the globe – even better when it’s powered by Australian science and research.”

Individual postcodes leading the charge in 2020 were:

  • Postcode 3064 (Victorian suburbs of Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham and Roxburgh Park) with 2484 systems
  • 3029 (Victorian suburbs of Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina) with 2435
  • 3977 (Victorian suburbs of Cranbourne, Sandhurst and Skye) with 2036
  • 2765 (NSW suburb of Marsden Park, Berkshire Park, Vineyard, Box Hill) with 1841
  • And 6112 (WA suburb of Armadale, Forrestdale, Bedfordale) with 1778

Australia has the highest uptake of solar globally. Clean Energy Regulator data shows that more than 2.68 million rooftop solar power systems have been installed in Australia in total, as of 31 December 2020; that means one in four homes have solar panels on their roof.

The states with the highest number of solar PV systems installed in 2020 were: New South Wales (with 108,922), Queensland (86,912), Victoria (71,798), Western Australia (47,653) and South Australia (35,599).

Clean Energy Regulator’s Executive General Manager Mark Williamson said that three gigawatts (GW) of rooftop solar PV capacity was installed nationally in 2020, a 40 per cent increase on the 2.2 GW installed in 2019.

This is trending higher in 2021 with an expected 3.5 to 4 GW of capacity.

The growth in capacity has been driven by increasing system size, with the average system now between 8 and 8.5 kilowatts.

Picture: CSIRO

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