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Australia’s rooftop PV capacity reaches 14.7 GW

Australia’s rooftop solar PV market has emerged as the second largest generator by capacity in the nation with new data published by the Australian Energy Council showing that small-scale solar is overshadowed only by coal-fired generation.

From pv magazine Australia

The Australian Energy Council’s (AEC) latest Quarterly Solar Report reveals that more than 14.7 GW of solar PV has been installed on Australian rooftops, making rooftop solar the second largest generator by capacity in Australia.

The AEC’s Quarterly Solar Report shows while coal-fired generation has more capacity, rooftop solar is continuing to expand with 109,000 systems installed in the second quarter this year.

The AEC said analysis of the latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that at the end of June more than 2.86 million solar systems had been installed on Australian rooftops, delivering a total installed capacity of more than 14.7 GW, ensuring rooftop solar continues to eat into the market share once firmly held by fossil fuel-powered generators.

AEC chief executive Sarah McNamara said the average installed capacity of rooftop solar has steadily increased and continues to defy expectations.

“While the 2020-21 financial year was difficult for most industries due to the impact of COVID-19, Australia’s rooftop solar PV industry does not appear to have been overly affected, based on this AEC analysis,” she said.

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“All jurisdictions, except the Northern Territory, hit records for the number of solar panels installed compared to the previous financial year.”

The AEC said that during the 2020-21 financial year, an estimated 373,000 solar systems were installed on Australian homes, up from 323,500 during 2019-20. Installed capacity also jumped from 2.5 GW to more than 3 GW while the average unit size reached 8.06 kW in June.

New South Wales led the way with more than 116,000 rooftop systems installed and 965 MW of capacity added to household rooftops during the 2020-21 financial year.

Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia also saw strong uptake, with a total of 212,000 installations and a combined capacity of 1.67 GW.

McNamara said continued low technology costs, increased working from home arrangements, and a shift in household spending to home improvements during the COVID-19 pandemic played a key role in the increased rollout of rooftop solar PV systems.

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Source: pv magazine