Australian small-scale renewable energy uptake hits all-time high

BY  | FROM  | 2018-03-07 15:08

Demand for renewable energy among Australian households and businesses hit a record high in 2017, data has revealed.

According to statistics gathered under the Clean Energy Regulator's Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, the total capacity of renewable systems installed in Australia in 2017 was more than 1,057 megawatts (MWs) with rooftop solar being the most popular type of system.

The total capacity added was the equivalent of 3.5 million solar panels being installed on Australian rooftops in the calendar year, working out to more than 9,500 every day on average.

Clean Energy Regulator (CER) data, released on Tuesday, also revealed that there was a greater demand for larger systems in 2017 as the cost of renewable energy continued to fall.

CER Executive General Manager Mark Williamson said that in 2017, the average solar system's capacity was six kilowatts, up from three kilowatts in 2012.

"We are seeing a wide cross-section of Australians households, community centres, schools, and small businesses receiving incentives under the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme," Williamson said in a media release on Tuesday.

"Our data shows consumers are embracing renewable energy to take control of their electricity bills."

The Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme offers financial incentives to households and businesses who install systems.

The total capacity of small systems installed in 2017 represented a 41 percent increase on 2016.

Queensland led all states in uptake, accounting for 295 MW, while the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) had the biggest annual growth in installed capacity at 57 percent.

"The data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator in 2017 reflects the industry is going from strength to strength. It looks like 2018 will be another big year for the solar industry," Williamson said.

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