One in five Australian homes powered by rooftop solar

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Australian homes and small businesses have now installed more than three million small-scale renewable energy systems, according to the Clean Energy Regulator.

Installed since the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme was introduced in 2001, the systems have the capacity to generate or displace around 12.9 million MWh of electricity annually.

Clean Energy Regulator executive general manager Mark Williamson said one in five Australian homes now generate their own renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions through rooftop solar.

“This is another milestone demonstrating Australians are making the most of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to access clean, renewable energy systems,” he said.

“This helps them to have better control over their energy costs”

The scheme provides incentives to households and small businesses by issuing small-scale technology certificates for every MWh of renewable energy generated or displaced by an accredited solar panel, wind, hydro system, solar water heater or air source heat pump.

The majority of installations were rooftop solar panel systems, providing around 63 per cent of the three million total, with solar water heaters (29 per cent) and air source heat pumps (8 per cent) making up the majority of the remaining installations.

“Queensland continues to live up to its reputation as the sunshine state, installing a record 839,461 small-scale renewable energy systems compared to New South Wales in second place with 694,154 systems,” Mr Williamson said.

Victoria had the third-highest number of installations with 636,157, followed by Western Australia with 436,611.

This milestone caps off a record year of more than one gigawatt of solar capacity installed in 2017.

Of the annual 12.9 million MWh hours of electricity, 72 per cent is generated by solar panel, hydro or wind systems and 28 per cent is displaced (reduces overall electricity consumption) by solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.