The number of small-scale solar PV panel installations on residential rooftops in Australia has reached 1,441,876, with 74,756 installed so far this year, according to Australia's Clean Energy Regulator.

There are also a total of 935,623 solar water heaters (including air source heat pumps), with 24,941 installed this year (as of 5 August).

Installation year Solar PV panel systems
2009 62,916
2010 198,208
2011 360,745
2012 343,320
2013 200,407
2014 179,337
2015 74,756
Overall total since 2001 1,441,876

The annual number of rooftop installations has been falling since its peak of 360,745 in 2011. However, Australia already has one of the highest amount of residences with rooftop installations in the world.

The solar industry in Australia has had a difficult year after 15 months of uncertainty over the country's Renewable Energy Target (RET).

However, as Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes explained to PV Tech in May, strong public support for rooftop solar and a targeted political campaign meant that small-scale rooftop solar was deemed “beyond the reach of politics”.

He said: “Neither side of government would be able to close the small-scale credit scheme down because the political implications of that would just be too great.”

Earlier this month, Australia pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2030, from 2005 levels, but the plans were criticised by environmental campaigners for falling behind other countries.