Victoria’s Solar Electricity Production Soars

Solar energy supplied 550 gigawatt-hours to Victoria in 2012 – 14 per cent of all renewable electricity – says the Clean Energy Council.

The CEC recently released its Renewable Energy in Victoria 2012 report; which provides an overview of Victoria’s electricity generation from renewable energy sources last year.

According to the report, the 550 gigawatt-hours figure was more than double solar’s contribution in 2011; which was 225 gigawatt-hours. In 2009, output was just 18 gigawatt-hours.

Installed solar panel capacity in 2012 in Victoria jumped from 270 megawatts to 418 megawatts. This was due to the uptake of home solar power, which accounted for all but 1 megawatt of installed capacity.

Uptake of solar power systems was spurred on by rapidly ballooning domestic power bills – and with more electricity price rises on the way; solar will likely continue to see solid gains.

While commercial solar installations were still a bit player last year, the CEC says low solar panel prices may see further uptake by the commercial sector during 2013.

The other renewable energy technology that saw significant increases in capacity and production last year was wind power.

In 2012, Victoria’s wind farms generated 1674 gigawatt-hours, of clean electricity; up from 1280 gigawatt-hours in 2011.

The state’s 11 commercial wind farms over 1 MW in capacity generated enough electricity last year to provide the power needs of over 230,000 average Australian homes. Wind energy accounted for more than 27 per cent of Victoria’s renewable electricity generation capacity last year.

The report states Victoria’s installed renewable energy capacity has almost tripled since 2000, increasing from 668 megawatts to more than 1860 megawatts by the end of last year.

Victoria’s total renewable energy electricity generation was 3825 gigawatt-hours, in 2012; an increase of 874 gigawatt-hours, or nearly 30 per cent more than in 2011.

The Renewable Energy in Victoria 2012 report was created with assistance from Sustainability Victoria. The full report can be downloaded here (PDF).