2018 was Australia’s best-ever rooftop solar year – solar energy records smashed

CEC wants urgent review of Solar Homes to even out solar industry boom-bust cycles.Clean Energy Council wants Solar Homes review.

The latest report from the Clean Energy Council (CEC) reveals 2018 was the best-ever year with record rooftop solar with renewable records smashed across the board.

The Clean Energy Australia Report 2019 shows rooftop solar energy systems  added a record-breaking 1.55 GW of new capacity to the electricity market last year.

More than 2.3 GW of new renewable capacity also emerged with 38 projects completed in 2018. Australia now gets over 21 per cent of its total energy generation from renewables, the CEC reports. This is more than enough to power every Australian household.

Clean energy is the future

Want to take a look at Australia’s energy future? We’ll give you a tip – it’s a clean energy future. #fairdinkumpower

Posted by Clean Energy Council on Monday, 12 November 2018

2018 also a bonanza year for solar farms

The report also 2018 saw the completion of 28 utility-scale solar projects. New capacity installed last year was more than 14 times higher than the sector’s previous best year.

In fact, 2018 saw a 45 per cent growth in commercial solar installations. Another 59 large-scale solar projects were also either under construction or financial commitment, the CEC reports.

More than two large-scale solar farms (over 5 MW) were commissioned each month in 2018. Projects are also getting larger and more efficient.

Coleambally Solar Farm in NSW is Australia’s largest operating solar farm. The 150 MW installation has 567,828 solar PV modules.

Record rooftop solar goes from strength to strength

Meanwhile, the average size for rooftop solar installations in Australia has risen consistently from 1.34 kW in 2009 to 7.13 kW in 2018.

Six solar panels were installed every minute in 2018, the report shows. As a result, one-in-five Australian households now have rooftop solar.

Queensland and Western Australia win nine of the top 10 slots in terms of national rooftop solar PV installations by postcode.

Bundaberg in Queensland takes the top position with 12,620 solar energy systems. WA’s Mandurah is second with 12,276 installations. Cranbourne in Victoria crept into ninth place with 7,936 systems.

Victorian initiatives like the state government’s Solar Homes program will help to make 2019 also a record rooftop solar year, the report predicts.

Federal Government policy essential to prolong boom

State governments have worked hard in the absence of a robust national climate and energy policy.

As a result, the ACT could reach its ambitious 100 per cent renewable energy target before 2020, claims the report.

Queensland was the renewable energy construction capital in 2018. South Australia is also blazing a trial with ambitious energy storage projects and major solar farms.