Queensland continues to have the largest number of small-scale solar power systems installed in Australia by a wide margin and recently passed a major milestone.
The latest data from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator indicates Queenslanders have collectively installed more than 500,000 solar panel systems, crossing the halfway mark of the Palaszczuk Government’s goal of 1 million solar rooftops across the state by 2020.
The Regulator states 6,316 small-scale renewable energy systems were installed nationally in February, representing a total generation capacity of 29,928kW. Queensland accounted for nearly a third in terms of numbers and more than a third capacity-wise. National installations recorded for February are tracking far higher than January so far, which saw 4,623 installs.
Across Australia, there were 196 commercial solar PV systems in the 10-100kW capacity range installed in February, with New South Wales (48), Queensland (48) and Victoria (48) accounting for the lion’s share.
The Clean Energy Regulator puts national cumulative small-scale renewable energy installation totals since 2001 ( as at the end of February) at 2,678,954 systems so far; representing 5,504,465kW of capacity. Of that total, 1,645,464 are solar PV and 1,026,885 solar hot water systems and heat pumps. The remainder are small-scale wind and hydro installations.
The installation numbers for February will continue to increase given the one-year period allowed for creating small-scale technology certificates, which the CER’s data is based on. These certificates have a value and form the basis of incentives that reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a system.
With regard to energy storage, 49 solar panel systems had a concurrent battery storage installation last month, bringing the total to 2,771 according to the Regulator.
The number of solar batteries installed would be significantly higher if retrofits were taken into account as existing system owners are increasingly turning to storage to boost their energy independence and get the most from their rooftop solar panels.