SA leads the way with 25 percent of households using solar: ABS

solar panels and south australia map

SA takes the medal for most solar systems per household.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show one in five households use some form of solar energy. The figures back anecdotal and other statistical evidence of a massive growth surge for solar that has occurred since the ABS first began publishing statistics on solar energy, back in 2011.

Then the figures were comparatively low with only around five percent of households using solar energy, said the ABS’ Karen Connaughton in a 3/12/2014 press release. However the change in just three years has been dramatic.

“Jump just three years, to 2014, and there are solar panels being used by fourteen per cent of all households.”, she said.

Add to this solar hot water and the numbers of households using solar energy in one form or another has jumped to 20 percent.

So which state is in the vanguard of this solar explosion? South Australia leads the way by a country mile along with Queensland (see ABS graph below). One in four South Australian households use solar power either for electricity or solar hot water.

While these two states enjoy their lead through their advantage over cooler, less sunny states, could the big lead enjoyed by SA be due to the comparatively progressive policies of the state government towards renewable energy and solar in particular?


Dragging the chain is the comparative non performance of the two most populous states NSW (10 percent) and Victoria (11 percent). A combination of historical fossil fuel reliance and lack of certainty caused by rapidly changing government policies of matters such as feed-in tariffs may have contributed to these results.

Is it a long shot to say that representatively more South Australians than any other state are responding to a climate of support from their state government? Or is the state more suited to renewable energy including solar power?

Certainly SA has attracted the lion’s share of investment and jobs in the renewable energy industry in the south east due to its favourable political climate. Neighbouring state and great rival Victoria may (yes may…jury’s still out) have come around to the value of supporting renewables, not just for protecting our planet’s future but also because of attracting jobs and investment.

Messages are mixed in NSW with support for “fastracking” mining ventures (didn’t ICAC teach them anything?) combined with an energy policy that does at least appear to recognise the existence of renewables. With a state election just around the corner, we can only hope the major parties look to the popularity of solar power in the electorate when putting together their respective platforms.

Overall a jump of 15 percent of households using some form of solar energy in just three years is more than commendable, it’s the future for the country. Despite the faffing about of our reps in Canberra and the state capitals, it’s obvious Australians are putting their money where their roofs are. So pronounced is the increase, we at SolarQuotes wonder what the statistics on solar energy with show in another three years time. Any predictions?


  1. I guess all the solar-power production in SA explains why the rest of us get such a limited amount and the prices are so high. (scarcity!).
    The bloody Crow-eaters are stealing OUR sunshine!

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