Dubbo: Solar Power Capital of Australia!

Well done Dubbo solar power installers!

dubbo library clock tower without solar panels

Sunny in Dubbo

If you read the mainstream press in Australia,  you’d think the towns and suburbs with the biggest average take up of solar panels would be the well-to-do inner city suburbs of our major cities. Perhaps Vaucluse, Toorak or the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide?

Obviously they’d be more likely where wealth is concentrated right?

Wrong (as you may have guessed by the headline!). In a sign that solar energy is becoming more accessible to mainstream Aussie folk, a recent survey by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) found the central-west NSW city of Dubbo to have the highest average percentage of houses with solar panels.

At 28 percent, Dubbo’s postcode just tips out Queensland’s Caloundra with 27.3 percent, however with Caloundra the recipient of a far more generous feed-in tariff bonus than that of Dubbo,  the NSW city’s achievement is all the more remarkable.

While many conclusions can be drawn from the statistics provided by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), Dubbo’s top ranking in the face of an almost scorched earth anti-renewables policy from the O’Farrell NSW government is nothing short of amazing. However with the practical sense of living in a region of the country not short of a few sun rays (and with an eye to the future of energy in Australia) Dubbo residents have obviously taken up solar systems with enthusiasm.

They are apparently well led in this respect by their council. Scrutiny of the Dubbo City Council’s website shows a reflection of the kind of positive attitude the area takes towards solar energy through the council’s pro-renewable energy policy.

The Council is making good on its sustainability pledge to the ratepayers, and leading the way for other regional councils by installing a number of solar panels to local council buildings, and at the Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) which has been described in a Council press release as “…one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) installations to be undertaken in Australia and the same size as a similar system installed at the Sydney Superdome.”

The WPCC project is a 70 kW photovoltaic (PV) solar system comprising of 285 panels, generating around 110 megawatt hours of electricity per annum.

This trend away from just inner city suburbs is starting to take hold according to the CEC and, if statements made by the acting CEO Kane Thornton prove to be correct, solar’s march towards regional and lower income postcodes is just beginning.

“We now have more than half a million solar power systems in Australia, but really we are just in the early stages of tapping into the power of this technology. Solar panels are fast becoming the Hills Hoist of the 21st Century,” he said in a statement.

Looking forward to seeing more solar power in Dubbo that Hills Hoists!

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