Watch Australian Solar PV Output Live

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Australia has not received the greatest wrap in renewable energy circles of late, due primarily to our long-standing reliance upon our massive coal deposits.

According to CSIRO, coal “contributes more than 75% of Australia’s electricity needs” as well as being a massive export earner — Japan took a whopping 115.3 million tonnes of coal during the 2011-2012 financial year, while China took 42.4 million tonnes during the 2009-2010 financial year, double what it took the year previously.

So unsurprisingly, coal is a big part of Australia’s energy and economic landscape.

However, Australian renewable energy markets are growing. Last week SunWiz released a report stating that the Australian rooftop solar market has reached 3 GW, thanks primarily to the state of Queensland which pushed past 1 GW.

The progress is slow, as the renewable energy industry fights coal entrenchment, but it is moving.

Which is why the release of the Australian PV Institute’s new ‘Live Solar PV Map‘ is such an impressive achievement for such a relatively small solar PV nation.

Ever wanted to know how much solar PV was contributing to Victoria’s current electricity demand? Ever wanted to know what the top days were for solar PV generation? Want to see what solar PV generation numbers look like over a day?

Wait no longer. Using performance data sourced at 10 minute intervals and calculations supplied in 5 minute intervals, the Live Solar PV Map can, per state, display the estimated PV output as a percentage of its maximum capacity, the estimated percentage of electricity demand being met by PV, and the total electricity demand in each state combined with the amount generated by solar PV.

With some basic but smooth graphics, you can watch PV generation fluctuate over the day, from the early hours of the morning (where you can imagine there is very little) and as it grows and starts to contribute more to the state-wide capacity.

It might not place us at the front of PV generation, but it’s definitely a good step in the direction of making renewable energy a focus, rather than a political punching bag.

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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