Australia’s rooftop PV installations top 3GW

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Over 3GW of PV generation capacity was installed on Australian rooftops, by the end of November, according to figures released by the country’s Clean Energy Regulator. This marks a rise of 0.6GW from 2.4GW reported at the end of 2012 and a leap of 1.7GW from the end of 2011, when 1.3GW capacity was installed.

In total, the regulator reported that 3,030MW capacity was installed across 1,145,798 rooftop PV systems as of 1 December 2013. Monthly figures representing small generation unit (SGU) installations show that in contrast, there were around 377 small scale wind generators with a rated output of 1,351kW and only 15 hydro SGUs totalling 22kW.

The Clean Energy Regulator’s figures also showed that a total of 837,002 solar water heaters have been installed in the country under the same Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme.

From January to November, Australia registered 601MW of new PV systems, with just over 2,000 rooftop installations totalling 9MW installed in November. Although the 9MW figure marks a significant drop from 48.3MW added on October, 51MW added in September, 52.9MW added in August and 59.3MW added in July, the November statistics are provisional and expected to be revised upward at a later date.

Australian solar power market consultancy firm SunWiz analysed the figures and found that the state of Queensland led the country with 360,000 installations, followed by New South Wales with around 252,000 installed and Victoria, with just over 200,000 PV installations. The company also contrasted average sizes of systems, with rooftops in south Australia fitted with an average 4.8kW and west Australian rooftops with a 3.4kW average system size.

David Green, chief executive of the domestic industry association Clean Energy Council said that rather than the affluent areas of major cities, it was working class suburbs and regional areas that had seen the bulk of systems installed.

Australian solar power installation price comparison site Solar Choice described reaching 3GW of rooftop PV as “a second major solar-related milestone that the nation has seen in 2013”. In April it was announced that the number of Australian homes that had installed PV systems had surpassed the one million mark.

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