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Clean Power

Where Is All The Rooftop Solar Power In Australia Going?

Australia now has over 17 gigawatts of installed rooftop solar power, after a scorching installation rate in 2021. Despite supply chain issues, and the solar coaster of rolling lockdowns across districts and whole states, 3 gigawatts (GW) were put on Australian roofs over the past 12 months. However, as you would expect, the growth rate has slowed. It’s now down to 10% per annum.

The size of installed systems appears to be increasing. I have a meagre 2.5 kW system on my roof, installed over 10 years ago. The main systems being advertised for homeowners on the TV are 6 kW, but due to installations on commercial properties, the average rooftop system size “skyrocketed” in December to 9.5 kW.

SunWiz reports that residential installs slowed, but “all commercial segments ended the year with at least two months of consecutive growth. The 75kW-100kW segment was the star of the show.”

Most of the fossil fuel generators are still working, so one has to ask where all this extra power is going. It appears that Australians are increasing their power use along with their power generation. I know we are, having swapped out our gas heater for HVACs and recently retiring our gas stove. We power our electric car and all my garden tools from our power station on the roof. I think the BBQ’s days are numbered! 

Image courtesy of David Waterworth

Even without growth, at the rate of installation of 3 GW a year (30 GW within a decade), it won’t be long before we’ll all be looking for ways to soak up the excess power! The entire Australian grid doesn’t even reach 30 GW of capacity. Bitcoin mining perhaps? 

Source: RenewEconomy


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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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