‘Unrealised potential’ for solar deployment at Australian airports

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Brisbane is home to Australia’s largest airport solar installation. Image: Epho Energy .

Australia’s airports have untapped potential to aid the country’s transition to renewable energy, according to a report from researchers at Melbourne’s RMIT University.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Building Engineering, claims that installing solar PV systems on the roofs of 21 Leased Federal Airports (LFAs) in Australia could provide enough clean energy to supply 136,000 households and “significantly” mitigate the country’s energy crisis.

It said that, while the residential solar market is growing, “large-scale” installations, or those with a capacity greater than 100kW, may be more crucial to the country’s energy transition, adding that airports have “been studied to have the most potential for these technologies”.

The researchers used geospatial technology to compare the potential efficiency of solar installations at 21 LFAs run by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, with 17,000 rooftop installations in the city of Bendigo, Victoria.

They noted that the LFAs’ distribution across Australia, their heightened security and the fact that they are not obscured by neighbouring buildings or forestry create an optimal location for solar PV systems, while also reducing the operating costs of the airports themselves.

Brisbane is currently home to Australia’s largest airport PV installation, standing at 5.725MW in capacity. However, the researchers found 2.61km sq of LFA rooftop space that could generate 467GWh of solar electricity annually, “nearly 10 times greater than the annual electricity generated with nearly 17,000 installed residential solar rooftop PV panels in the local government area”.

The report, they said, sheds light on “the unrealized potential” for advancing solar deployment in Australia through existing infrastructure, and the results provide “support to decision-makers and airport authorities in implementing rooftop solar PV systems within 21 LFAs in Australia”.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
November 24, 2021
PV Tech Premium speaks with ADT's customer chief to discuss the company's acquisition of Sunpro Solar and its residential solar growth strategy
November 23, 2021
Renewables developers and O&M provider RES has appointed two new chief executives to lead on its growth plans.
November 22, 2021
SolarPower Europe has called on the EU to increase its renewable energy target to 45% by 2030, which it said would result in an extra 210GW of solar capacity installed and put the continent on a strong trajectory to reach climate neutrality by 2050
November 17, 2021
Global solar PV installations are to growth 20% in 2022, surpassing the 200GWdc mark for the first time, despite high capex costs, according to a new report by the Clean Energy Technology service at IHS Markit
November 17, 2021
US solar installer SunPower has launched its ConnectedSolutions virtual power plant (VPP), enabling SunVault battery energy storage system (BESS) customers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut to earn “hundreds of dollars a year” for allowing utility access to their stored energy during peak demand
November 11, 2021
US residential solar company Sunnova Energy and home security firm Brinks Home have entered into an exclusive partnership that will allow Brinks Home dealers to offer its customers Sunnova’s portfolio of products, and vice versa, in the second such arrangement this week

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal