Home Solar Power In The Australian Capital Territory

It may be small in terms of population and area, but Canberra and the ACT is a giant in renewable energy uptake. 

There were more than 27,020 small scale solar power systems installed in the ACT as at December 31, 2020 (Source: Clean Energy Regulator).

With a population of 428,100 (September 2019 – ABS) and a collective installed PV capacity of more than 163 megawatts, it works out to around 380 watts of rooftop solar installed per person, which is well under the Australian average of approximately 505 watts. The Australian Photovoltaic Institute pegs the saturation of solar panels on ACT homes at 20.7%, putting Canberra 6th among Australia’s states and territories.

So why does Canberra have such a strong renewables street cred? It’s due to the ACT government’s commitment in 2016 to 100% renewable energy by 2020 – which it achieved. Part of reaching this target has involved the construction of solar farms within the Territory and purchasing electricity from renewables projects situated outside the ACT. The ACT was the world’s pioneer in reverse auctions for renewable energy projects.

With all the focus on renewables, why is the ACT’s small-scale solar power uptake comparatively low? Some of that may have to do with comparatively low electricity prices. Still – why have low when you could have zero electricity bills? More Canberra residents are cottoning onto this – in 2018 residential installations shot up to 18.4 megawatts of capacity, more than double 2017’s 9 megawatts of installations.

A good quality 6kW solar panel system, properly installed, can generate around 24 kilowatt hours of electricity a day on average in the ACT – that’s more than the average Australian household daily electricity consumption. What’s more, solar feed in tariffs are also available in the ACT. This pays a system owner for the surplus electricity they generate that is exported to the mains grid. 

If you’re contemplating solar panels, the following information may help – don’t forget a system can be heavily subsidised under Australia’s “solar rebate”

Other Canberra Solar Information

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