It’s taken a few years for us to catch on, but Australia’s homes now boast the highest rate of rooftop solar uptake in the world.
According to energy.gov.au, almost one-third (30%) of Australian homes have rooftop solar panels. By November 2021, more than 3 million rooftop solar PV systems had been installed across Australia, and it is increasing each year.
Data from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) show more than 3,000MW of small-scale solar capacity was added to grids around the country in the 12 months to December 31, just higher than the previous high of 2,964MW in 2020.
The latest figures follow on a consistent trend of new records each year since 2016.
Not only are we installing more panels on rooftops, but the CER figures show that the capacity of the installations has increased, from 8kW to 8.3kW.
The increased uptake is having a positive effect on energy consumption, with data from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) showing record-low daytime demand levels.
AEMO Executive General Manager Reform Delivery, Violette Mouchaileh, noted that new minimum demand records were set in South Australia (236 MW to 104 MW), New South Wales (4,636 MW to 4,425 MW) and Victoria (2,529 MW to 2,333 MW).
“Unabated rooftop solar PV investment set a new minimum operational demand record of 761 MW on 14 November 2021, a 12% decrease on the previous record”, Mouchaileh said.
“During this 30-minute interval, rooftop solar PV met 67% of the total underlying demand”, she added.
If you are still pondering whether to install rooftop solar on your home, the cost of a home solar PV system starts at around $3500 for a basic installation. Prices are steadily coming down, as demand and mass-production increase.
A system without batteries typically has a payback period of 3 to 5 years. Adding batteries extends the payback period, but offers the added benefits of being able to use your ‘free’ power after dark or on overcast days.