Australia Hits New Solar Energy Record

government clean energy regulator solar industryImage: Australian Government

Australia generates enough solar power to fuel nearly all the households in Melbourne, according to a new data analysis.

The Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI), with data from the Clean Energy Regulator, says the country has a new solar energy record.

There are now 6GW of solar power across the country, enough to meet the electricity needs of 1.3 million households.

Solar Energy Record: Solar now at 11% of total electricity capacity

This follows on from an APVI report in December 2014 showing Australia reached 4GW of solar capacity, which was then the solar energy record.

“Solar power now makes up 11 per cent of our country’s total electricity generation capacity,” APVI chair Renate Egan said in a statement.

Solar Energy Record

Image: Public Domain

In addition, Ms Egan said more solar photovoltaic energy entered the system in 2016 than any other fuel.

“To put 6GW into perspective, that is twice the capacity of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, Loy Yang in Victoria.”

Solar power is the norm in some areas

The APVI said solar power has become so popular that in some places households without it are in the minority.

In particular, these towns include Baldivis in Western Australia and Elimbah in Queensland.

Queensland leads the way for solar energy generation across the nation, according to the report.

Especially relevant is data from the Clean Energy Regulator showing national trends and analysis on small-scale solar uptake in March, revealing:

  • March saw 6,845 small-scale systems installed nationally, a total generation capacity of 32,000;
  • Installation rates for March are tracking higher than February’s, with 6,845 installed compared to 6,316 last month;
  • The highest level of small-scale installations across Australia, with 2,184 systems installed in March, is in Queensland;
  • Queensland had the highest number of commercial sized solar PV systems (10-100kW) installed in March, with 96 systems installed;
  • 268 commercial sized solar PV systems (10-100kW) installed Australia-wide in March;
  • Victoria had the largest small-scale PV system installed so far in March at 99.84kW;
  • 67 PV systems had concurrent battery storage installation in March.