Rooftop solar now second largest generator in Australia

Rooftop solar panels (record)

Australia’s rooftop solar industry continues to soar, with the Australian Energy Council (AEC) recently reporting that rooftop solar has become the second largest energy generator in Australia, according to Energy Matters.

Rooftop solar installations now generate a whopping 14.7GW of total capacity, representing more than 2.86 million installations, according to the AEC’s recently released Quarterly Solar Report, which showed that while coal-fired plants are still the largest generator in terms of capacity, rooftop solar is making strides with 109,000 solar systems installed in the second quarter of 2021.

AEC chief executive Sarah McNamara said rooftop installations showed now signs of slowing through a year of economic and social upheaval due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” McNamara said.

Related article: Energy survey reveals ‘staggering’ uptake in household solar

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

“During the 2020/21 financial year, around 373,000 solar systems were installed on Australian home rooftops, a figure which increased from 323,500 during 2019/20. Installed capacity also jumped from 2,500MW to more than 3,000MW.”

New South Wales led the way for rooftop installations, with more than 116,000 systems and 965MW of capacity added to household rooftops. This represented 31 per cent of Australia’s total installation and 32 per cent of its installed capacity. Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia also saw strong uptake in installations with a total of 212,000 installations (1,670MW) accounting for 56.9 per cent.

McNamara says the low cost of solar technology combined with working from home arrangements and spending on household improvements helped make 2020/21 a bumper year for Australian rooftop solar installations.