Rooftop solar now Australia’s second largest energy generator

Houses with rooftop solar panels

Rooftop solar has become the second largest energy generator by capacity in Australia, the Australian Energy Council (AEC) has reported.

Continued low technology costs and a higher rate of employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to an increase in rooftop solar systems under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. The scheme offers a financial incentive for individuals and businesses to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems, such as rooftop solar panels.

With 14.7 gigawatts of capacity, rooftop solar was second only to coal generation, according to the AEC’s quarterly report. Over 109,000 rooftop solar systems were installed in the second quarter of this year.

New South Wales has led new rooftop solar installations so far this financial year, after also recording the most last financial year. Queensland and South Australia lead the country in total number of installed small-scale solar systems, with almost 40% of households in both states featuring rooftop solar panels.

Large-scale solar also on the rise

It isn’t just rooftop solar rising up the charts, either. A number of large-scale solar projects are in operation throughout the country, with more in development. Solar farms can be used to power operations for a specific client, or be used to provide energy back to the grid to be used in households.

From government-backed projects to those by larger companies, such as mining giant BHP, it seems Australia’s abundant sunshine has become a more-favoured energy source than previously.

An increase in solar on the grid from both rooftop solar and these large-scale projects will aid in making Australia’s energy industry cleaner, reducing reliance on fossil fuels that create emissions. As solar installation and generation prices become more affordable, more green power on the grid should also see energy bills drop in price.

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