Solar In Australia Saving $1 Billion Per Year

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Australia can now boast of over 23.2 million solar PV panels saving citizens $1 billion on their power bills each year.

According to a new report from Solar Citizens, “an independent community based organisation,” Australia reached 23.2 million solar PV panels installed earlier this year — the equivalent of one per person in the country.

Solar Citizens also calculated the savings currently being made by solar owners on their regular electricity bills, analysing average electricity retail rates across all State and Territories over the past 8 financial years, revealing that solar households have saved $4.4 billion on their power bills since FY 2007–2008, and have been saving around $1 billion every year over the past three years.

Solar Citizens-1

“The pace of rooftop solar installation in Australia has been nothing short of phenomenal in recent years,” said Claire O’Rourke, National Director of Solar Citizens. “Solar panels are now a regular and normalised part of Australian life. In fact, Australians spend as much on their solar as they do on tea and coffee.”

In terms of investment, the report shows that 1.5 million Australian households and small businesses have invested more than $8 billion into rooftop solar PV. In fact, the investment figures reported in The State of Solar: Australia’s Solar Rooftop Boom are the highlight of the Solar Citizen’s research. During the 2014–2015 financial year, Australians invested $1.23 billion in rooftop solar — compared to only $118 million invested in large-scale solar projects in the calendar year 2014. So far, it is the hard-earned cash of Australian homeowners and small business owners that is driving the renewable energy transformation in Australia.

“Australians are leading the renewables charge and this new set of data plainly reveals that investment in solar PV has been the backbone of the renewables revolution in Australia,” said O’Rourke.

So far in 2016, Australia’s rooftop solar PV installation base has generated over 6.5 TWh, preventing 6.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

And with Australia about to go to the polls this weekend in the country’s federal election, this goes a long way to showing what Australians want from their politicians.

“Australian political leaders need to understand just how much the average Australian themselves have committed of their own money to play a part in the transition of our power system,” added O’Rourke. “With 5 million Australians (or 1 in 5 voters) living under a solar roof, this is potent political constituency.”

Image Credit: Solar Citizens, via Twitter

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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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5 thoughts on “Solar In Australia Saving $1 Billion Per Year

  • So, they have invested $8 billion and only saved 4 billion. Better headline: Australians still in hole by $4 billion even after 4 years of paying off installers.

    Of course, this is until they break even, and then it is all profit all the time. With PV panels that are going to last many decades.

    Shocking: a technology with no retail fuel costs beats one with constant retail fuel costs.

    Too bad most of that $8 billion was at retail prices. If we did this collectively, we could all be paying government wholesale. But, evidently, that wouldn’t be “empowering” or “decentralized” enough to be cool.

    • How about this headline: “Austrailians receive 12% tax-free annual return on their solar investment”.

  • Imagine if the US had 320 million solar panels. We will get there.
    Why is power so much more expensive in South Australia and the Northern Territory?

    • For the Northern Territory, look at the population density. Yakutia, the Yukon and Amazonia no doubt have expensive electricity as well. The priciest will be Antarctica.

    • The figures on that graphic are a bit odd, so I think they must be going off average system size, which is largest in South Australia. Also, they appear to be taking feed-in tariffs into account, which are high in the Northern Territory, unlike almost all the rest of Australia,

      But South Australia does have the highest grid electricity prices in the country. This is because of a lack of cheap and convenient coal, a lack of industry to provide higher baseload demand, and very high temperatures in summer for a few days of a year which results in air conditioner load pushing up both generation and transmission/distribution costs.

      In addition, South Australia also suffered from the price increases that result from cost cutting privatization and over investment in distribution networks the rest of the country did.

      The Northern Territory’s grid electricity prices are below the Australian average despite having the highest generation cost because they kept the government run public service model. Which is lucky for them.

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