More than 800 megawatts (MW) of small-scale solar energy capacity was installed in Australia in 2014, according to recent figures released by Green Energy Markets.
Considering the political/legislative environment of the last few years in Australia, with regard to renewables, the numbers are pretty impressive — and just goes to show that the tide of public support is continuing to grow.
This 800 MW (816.64 MW to be exact) of new small-scale capacity was split amongst 185,950 different systems — with the average size of these systems being ~4.4 kW.
As alluded to before, these figures are coming to us via the December 2014 monthly report of the renewable certificate trader Green Energy Markets
While the small-scale solar sector saw good numbers, the large-scale photovoltaic (PV) sector in the country remained in a “depressed” state — with the only areas of any significance (with regard to new capacity) being the Australian Capital Territory, which saw 21 MW of new solar; and Western Australia, which saw 11.5 MW of new commercial-scale capacity added.
That’s quite a disparity between that and the 800 MW of new small-scale capacity, isn’t it?
As far as small-scale solar goes, the new capacity was spread fairly evenly amongst the population — 33% of the new capacity is in Queensland, 21% in Victoria, 17% in New South Wales, 13% in South Australia, 12% in Western Australia, and 3% in Tasmania. The Northern Territory and the Capital Territory didn’t contribute much.
Interestingly, a separate — but also recent — report from Green Energy Markets noted that electricity consumption via the National Electricity Market continued to fall notably in 2014, by 1.1% as compared to 2013.
The primary drivers of this were solar PV and improved energy efficiency (responsible for 89%, or 1.877 GWh), according to the report. Much of the rest of the decrease was down to the closure of the Point Henry aluminum smelter.
Despite these developments, Australia’s carbon emissions have continued rising — increasing by 1% in 2014 as compared to 2013.
Image Credit: Australia solar rooftops via Shutterstock
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