As the wave of clean energy and saving the planet swept across the globe, Australia seems to be on top of its game on going with the trend.
Records from the Clean Energy Regulator show that Australia has recorded around 362,000 rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
In 2019, there were 283,000 installations recorded, and by 2020, the number of solar PV installations had gone up by 28%. Most installations were for residential use with a smaller number for commercial and industrial properties.
This shows how Australia is advancing in the world of clean energy and the people’s zeal for science-led innovation in Australia.
CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, said science had made renewables cost-competitive with conventional power, letting market forces take over to drive a global transition to lower emissions.
Australia’s massive use of solar energy has given the country an economic opportunity on the world stage as Australia is at the top list of solar PV users globally.
Solar energy reduces costs as it is cheaper than conventional modes of energy thus, giving Australia such an advantage.
It is also recorded that Australia has the highest uptake of solar globally. No wonder it has such record-breaking solar PV installations.
By 31 December 2020, the Clean Energy Regulator data shows that Australia had installed over 2.68 million rooftop solar power systems. Amazing isn’t it? Of course, it’s fantastic and this goes to show how determined Australians are in protecting the environment and going green.
Senior Experimental Scientist, Michael Ambrose, who is a part of a team that uses a vast array of data to track the progress in residential sustainability efforts, reported that the solar PV installation data shows how quickly PV systems have been taken up across Australia and the increasing size of the PV arrays.
This is because Australia has a vast amount of sunshine globally which makes it easier for them to harness this natural resource to their advantage. Solar energy is renewable and comes free of charge and since the country is naturally hot, the people might as well benefit by using solar energy as their primary source of energy.
Clean Energy Regulator’s Executive General, Mark Williamson, claims that nationally, 3 gigawatts (GW) of rooftop solar PV capacity was installed, which shows a 40% increase from 2.2 GW installed in 2019.
Mr. Williamson went on to say that one out of four houses in Australia has a solar PV panel. This ratio clearly shows how solar PV panels have taken Australia by storm and with time, the numbers will increase.
The trend is still on and by the end of 2021, they are expecting the numbers to rise up to 3.5GW of capacity.
The increase in solar PV panels installations is a result of sustained low technology costs, increased work-from-home arrangements, and a shift in household spending to home improvements during the covid pandemic.
The Australian Housing Data Portal, which was launched in 2019, is responsible for centralising a vast amount of energy efficiency data that underpin key decision-making, training, and awareness.
This portal is updated monthly and contains data across states and climate zones and can be further broken down by design (e.g. dwelling class and floor area), construction (e.g. type of walls and roofing), and fixtures and appliances (e.g. solar PV and heating/cooling systems).
This is done to monitor energy usage, mark trends in how energy is used, and keep a record of the country’s energy usage progress.
The trend for solar energy is still going on and the number of installations is increasing each year and before we know it the whole of Australia will be using green energy.