Queensland continues to dominate small-scale solar installations for household and small businesses, according to the latest figures from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). However, there was an upset in the competition for the suburb with the highest solar uptake last month. The top solar postcode in the country for December wasn’t in the Sunshine State. Instead, the Melbourne suburb Bundoora solar installations topped the list with 70.
CER December figures show a total of 7,709 small-scale renewable energy systems installed nationally in December. Although still being collated, December installations are currently tracking lower than November’s figure of 7,944.
Small-scale systems make a big impact
Small-scale renewable energy systems can include solar PV panels, solar thermal heaters, wind turbines and also hydro-electric systems. However, the December figures show only solar-related installations, the majority of these being solar PV systems.
Bundoora solar installations leads way
Around the country, the top performing suburbs and the number of installations in each for December are:
- VIC – Bundoora (70)
- ACT – Kaleen (3), Nicholls (3) and Kambah (3)
- NSW – Port Macquarie (19)
- NT – Zuccoli (5)
- QLD – Caboolture (24)
- SA – Mount Barker (13)
- TAS – Riverside (5)
- WA – Byford (43)
Australia ahead of its Renewable Energy Target (RET)
The December results come a week after the CER confirmed Australia will meet its 2020 Renewable Energy Target.
Meeting the 2020 target of 33,000 GW hours of additional renewable energy required 6,000 MW of large-scale generation capacity.
However, following a record level of investment in renewable energy in 2017, CER Chair David Parker says Australia is ahead of schedule.
“While announcements started slowly in 2016, the momentum we saw in the later part of that year continued throughout 2017 and has now reached a level that we believe will be sufficient to meet the 2020 target,” Mr Parker says.
Benefits of RET to continue past 2020
Despite the closure of the Renewable Energy Target scheme in 2020, the benefits will continue for many years. This is because projects for renewable energy generation signed under the RET will develop over the next decade.
“In 2017, more than 1000 megawatts of renewable projects were completed and began generation, the biggest year ever for new build coming online,” says Mr Parker.
“We expect 2018 and 2019 to be even bigger, with each year having more than double the new build completed compared to 2017.”