Small but mighty: Aussie rooftop solar sets new record

Solar installer with high-vis overalls and hardhat on top of roof with solar PV array (new energy tech consumer code)
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Australia’s small-scale rooftop solar systems have set a new record this summer, supplying more of Australia’s electricity than brown coal.

Providing a record 14% of Australia’s needs, rooftop solar also dispatched more energy to the grid than all other renewable sources, including grid-scale wind farms and solar farms. 

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton said the achievement was especially noteworthy, given this summer has enjoyed less sunshine than in an average year.

“There is no doubt with inflation and cost of living pressures, people are turning to rooftop solar in record numbers,” Thornton said. 

“Thousands of Australians are switching to rooftop solar and seeing their benefits to their hip pockets and the environment. In fact, payback periods for rooftop solar are now at near record low levels, at 3.4 years for a 7kW system.

“We’re seeing a fundamental shift; consumers are becoming energy generators, making their own clean energy, reducing their bills and taking on the electricity companies.”

Thornton said these figures measure only what enters the grid.

“Even more clean, low-cost generation was produced and used by households themselves, taking pressure off our strained system,” he said.

“Australia is a world leader in rooftop solar.”

The total output for rooftop solar for summer was a record 8046GWh—up by 19.5% on the previous year.

Energy bills have risen by between 15 and 20% since mid-2022 sparking a surge in small-scale solar installations.

StateGWhGWh change compared to previous summerContribution to Generation (%)Contribution change compared to previous summer
Australia8046+19.5%  14.0%+19.7%

More than three million homes and businesses now keep costs down using rooftop solar. Rising power prices are reducing the projected time for newly installed systems to pay for themselves. 

A state-by-state analysis of our summer performance tells another tale, with South Australia leading the way but New South Wales being the most improved of all the states. 

The Clean Energy Council has also produced a list of Australia’s top postcodes for rooftop solar, state by state.

In New South Wales, Lismore topped the rankings; in Queensland, the Bundaberg region led rooftop solar; in South Australia, it was Salisbury; in Victoria, it was Hoppers Crossing; in Tasmania, Blackstone Heights and in Western Australia, Mandurah.

Battery installations are also rising, with 7% of new systems including battery installations in 2022.

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