The number of Australian households with solar panels has increased by more than 35 times over the last three years states a new report from the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
As mentioned in our recent article on Australia’s Top Solar Postcodes, over a half million small scale solar energy systems are now generating electricity in Australia. The CEC’s 2011 Clean Energy Australia report pegs the number at 513,585 installed at the end of August 2011.
The CEC says approximately 430,000 of these installations occurred during the last two years and over 6% of Australian houses have now installed rooftop solar panels.
Uptake has been driven by solar rebates and feed in tariffs in combination with solar energy components rapidly dropping in price. According to the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES), solar power system prices have plummeted by 70% in the last 12 months.
The uptake of solar panels across Australia becomes even more stunning when comparing the cumulative total number of installations in 2001 to the end of August this year:
ACT – 5/4988
New South Wales – 40/64,630
Northern Territory – 2/184
Queensland – 35/61,363
Tasmania – 1/1,548
Victoria – 73/34,235
South Australia – 84/38,829
Western Australia – 23/34,512
TOTAL SYSTEMS 2001 – 263
TOTAL AUGUST 2011 – 513,585
Given 2 rails are used when mounting a string of panels, this equates to a string of panels 1,300 kilometres long – approximately the distance in a straight line from Melbourne in Victoria to Brisbane in Queensland.
“Australians from all walks of life are embracing solar PV, including those from so called mortgage belt and retirement suburbs across the country,” states the CEC report; the full version of which can be downloaded here (PDF).