Australian homes and business installed more renewable energy capacity in 2017 than ever before.
According to the Clean Energy Regulator’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme data, more than 1057MW was installed last year, mostly from rooftop solar, and this number is expected to reach more than 1070MW.
This brings the total installed small-scale capacity in Australia to more than 6000MW.
Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said Australia has cemented itself as a world-leader in the use of rooftop solar
“Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world,” he said.
“One in five Australian homes has rooftop solar and an increasing number of small businesses are making the most of the financial and environmental benefits of solar.”
The data reveals 3.5 million solar panels are fixed to Australian rooftops, or more than 9500 installed every day.
The average solar system capacity has doubled in the five years since 2012, from three to six kilowatts.
Clean Energy Regulator executive general manager Mark Williamson says the increasing interest in renewables is good news for reducing carbon emissions.
“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,” Mr Williamson said.
“Our data shows consumers are embracing renewable energy to take control of their electricity bills.”
In 2017, there was a 41 per cent increase in installed renewable energy capacity across all states and territories compared to 2016.
Queensland led the way with installed capacity at 295MWs, with the Australian Capital Territory taking top place for biggest annual increase, up 57 per cent.
“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,” Mr Williamson said.
Earlier this year, the Clean Energy Regulator announced the country’s Renewable Energy Target would be met thanks to more than $12 billion of investment in large-scale projects.