24 May 2018

Boom times: Solar citizens lead the energy revolution

Rooftop solar is continuing to boom in Australia with the 2018 installation rate soaring above 2017’s record rate.


Rooftop solar is continuing to boom in Australia with the 2018 installation rate soaring above 2017’s record rate.

Thanks to improved technology and larger rooftop installs, the total kilowatt capacity of rooftop solar is 56% above last year’s, and the number of systems installed has increased 32% on the same period last year.

To paint a picture, that means more than 500 solar installs take place every day on Australian rooftops, confirming a community-driven renewable energy revolution is changing how we power the nation.

Australians are also saving money, with rooftop solar installed just in the month of April delivering $191 million in bill savings.

Employment is also booming, with the design, installation and sale of rooftop solar contributing just under 5,500 full-time jobs, more than a third of Australia’s total electricity generation workforce.

Projections based on the current rate of rooftop solar uptake suggest up to 1,500 megawatts in total will be installed by year’s end, smashing last year’s record for total installs which was 1,072 megawatts.

To put this in perspective, in the time it would take to build a completely new coal power station (five years), the 2018 rate of solar installations would deliver more than two and half times the capacity of Australia’s largest coal generator (Eraring).

These record-breaking statistics come from April’s Renewable Energy Index, released by Green Energy Markets.

GetUp Campaign Director Miriam Lyons said Australians were embracing rooftop solar because they know it’s the cleanest and cheapest way to keep their fridge cold and house warm.

“The thousands of solar installations popping up on the roofs of family homes and businesses every week is an inspiring sign everyday people are driving the clean energy revolution.

“This boom in rooftop solar is creating meaningful work for thousands of people and helping households take control of their power bills.

“It’s now time for the federal government to show the same leadership on renewables that Australian families and business are, and come up with a policy framework that will drive investment in large scale renewables and cut pollution. But instead of embracing clean energy, Malcolm Turnbull wants to block out the sun – he’s pushing a national energy plan with a target so pathetically low it will do nothing whatsoever to build renewables or cut climate pollution!’’

“We don’t have time for the government to keep pandering to the coal lobby. Our emissions have risen three years in a row. The Great Barrier Reef is disappearing before our eyes.

“The good news is Australia is the sunniest continent on earth. Solar and wind are now the cheapest type of new-build generation and 100% renewable energy is 100% doable. Let’s get on with it!”

Renewable Energy Index
Key Stats

  • There were 108 megawatts of rooftop solar installed in April with each month so far in 2018 exceeding 100 megawatts of installs, an Australian first.
  • The amount installed in the past four months will generate more electricity than what is consumed by households in major regional cities like Darwin, Geelong, Newcastle, Toowoomba, or Bunbury.
  • The monthly average of 113 megawatts is 56% higher than the average monthly rate at the same time last year - a year which represented a new record for solar installs.
  • In April renewables made up 19.8% of the electricity generated in Australia’s main grids.
  • There was enough renewable energy generated over April to power 8.4 million homes.
  • There were 15,896 small-scale solar systems installed in April.
  • Rooftop solar installed in April will deliver $191 million in power bill savings
  • Rooftop solar employed 5,261 people in April a third of the power generation workforce


 

   

Media Contact: Eugene Benson 0407806330