It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s trendy.. and it’s green. Solar and wind power are increasingly becoming topics of conversation as the world shifts from filthy coal, oil and other fossil fuels, to the clean and renewable energy provided by the wind and the sun.

Here’s some fascinating statistics, facts and trivia about these power sources – be the centre of attention, amaze your friends and influence people with your renewable energy knowledge!

Solar panels quote

  • It would take only around 0.3 per cent of the world’s land area to supply all of our electricity needs via solar power.
  • The area of roof space available in Australia is enough to provide all of the nation’s electricity, using solar panels.
  • Weight for weight, advanced silicon based solar cells generate the same amount of electricity over their lifetime as nuclear fuel rods, without the hazardous waste. All the components in a solar panel can be recycled, whereas nuclear waste remains a threat for thousands of years.
  • Solar and wind power systems have 100 times better lifetime energy yield than either nuclear or fossil energy system per tonne of mined materials
  • The amount of energy that goes into creating solar panels is paid back through clean electricity production within anywhere from 1 – 2 years, depending on where they are used. This compares with a serviceable life of decades.
  • The theoretical limit for silicon based solar cells is 29% conversion efficiency. With the addition of solar concentrators, The efficiency of photovoltaics is eventually likely to rise above 60 per cent.
  • The Earth receives more energy from the sun in an hour than is used in the entire world in one year
  • 120,000 terawatts of power from the Sun flows through to the Earth – 10,000 times more that flows through our industrial civilisation at any given time.
  • There are now nearly 1.4 million home solar power systems installed in Australia
  • The retail value of the electricity generated by small solar power systems in Australia as at April 2015 is estimated at AUD $4.6 million a day – or more than $1.68 billion a year.
  • Wind is a form of solar power, created by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface.
  • At the end of 2014, worldwide capacity of wind turbines in operation was over 369,553  MW
  • Solar radiation and related energy resources including wind and wave power, hydro and biomass make up 99.97% of the available renewable energy on Earth
  • The first solar cell was constructed by Charles Fritts in the 1880s – it had a conversion efficiency of just 1%
  • The world’s largest wind turbine in commercial operation is the 8MW Vestas V-164 . A single turbine can power 7,500 homes.
  • Global annual photovoltaic installations increased from just 21 megawatts in 1985, to around 40,000 megawatts in 2014
  • Manufacturing solar cells produces 90% less pollutants than conventional fossil fuel technologies
  • The solar industry creates 200 to 400 jobs in research, development, manufacturing and installation for every 10 megawatts of solar power generated annually.
  • Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can still work in cloudy conditions, although output is compromised
  • Silicon, the major component of a solar cell, is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen.
  • A 5kW solar panel system is large enough to produce the electricity requirements of an average 4 person Australian household.
  • By December 2014, 19 per cent of Australian households used either rooftop solar panels or solar hot water systems; up from just 5% in 2011


Energy Matters
Professor Andrew Blakers
Worldwatch Institute
Science Daily

Port of Los Angeles

Oliver Morton
Global Wind Energy Council
Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Special deals and discounts on solar power