Australia’s solar industry has passed a major milestone, now boasting 3 million small-scale solar systems installed on rooftops, which equates to over 1 in 4 houses and many non-residential buildings having solar systems. 

Solar PV has recorded 30 per cent growth year on year from 2017 to 2020, and in 2021, rooftop solar will contribute seven per cent of energy going into the national electricity grid.

Solar market analyst Warwick Johnston, the Managing Director of SunWiz, said passing three million solar installations is a remarkable milestone.

“Thanks to our homeowners, Australia leads the world in per-capita uptake of solar power – 22 per cent higher per capita than Germany or Japan in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency,” Mr Johnston said.

Angus Taylor, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, said, “Australia’s three million rooftop solar installations are reducing emissions by over 17.7 million tonnes in 2021 and will only increase in the future.”

The extended COVID-19 lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT had little impact on rooftop solar installations, with a total of 2.3GW installed between January and September 2021. 

The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) is currently processing up to 10,000 applications every week for small-scale technology certificates associated with solar PV systems.

Clean Energy Council (CEC) Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said, “For every megawatt of new rooftop solar, six jobs are created each year, illustrating that it is the largest generator of employment in the renewable energy industry.”

Ellen Roberts, the National Director of community-based solar owners organisation, Solar Citizens, said Australians have installed rooftop solar in droves.

“So far, it’s everyday people that have done the heavy lifting on carbon emissions reduction, while the Australian government has been dragging its feet,” Ms Roberts said. 

“Luckily, the progress we’ve made together will make it easier to slash carbon pollution in other sectors, like transport and heavy industry.

“As we transition to a cleaner economy, having abundant cheap energy during the day is a valuable resource that we can use to power electric vehicles, charge up community batteries and underpin new onshore manufacturing industries.

“Because of the hard work of Australians, we’re in a good starting position to become a clean energy superpower that can export our sunshine to the world.”

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