March Australian Rooftop Solar Installations Break Record

Solar installations in Australia during March

Image: Stocksnap

March rooftop solar power system installs in Australia represented the highest monthly capacity total ever – 127 megawatts – enough to power the equivalent of 36,710 homes says Green Energy Markets.

Their latest Renewable Energy Index also indicates installations for the first three months of this year are 50% higher than anticipated in controversial National Energy Guarantee  (NEG) economic modelling. Rooftop solar capacity added in the first quarter of 2018 is 56% higher than the same time last year Рand 2017 was a record breaker in this regard.

“On top of the underestimates of large scale renewables, it suggests that the emission reduction target could be substantially strengthened at minimal economic cost,” says Green Energy Markets.

18,237 solar systems were installed on home and business rooftops in March – the breakdown:

  • New South Wales & ACT: 5,117 systems
  • Queensland: 4,381 systems
  • Victoria: 3,452 systems
  • Western Australia: 2,873 systems
  • South Australia: 2,011 systems
  • Tasmania: 241 systems
  • Northern Territory: 162 systems

Rooftop solar panels installed in March will deliver $225 million in bill savings over the next decade states the report. In addition to slashing electricity bills, Australia’s rooftop solar sector employment supported 6,084 full-time equivalent jobs last month.

Australia’s Large Scale Renewables Boom Continues

The latest Index reports 5,175 megawatts of large-scale renewables under construction by the end March, providing enough work to employ 18,182 people (full-time equivalent).

“The amount of renewable energy to be generated in 2020 is now set to exceed the original 41,000 GWh renewable energy target that was in place before cuts made under the Abbott-led Government.”

Those cuts were made on the premise that the 41,000 GWh target was too difficult to achieve and it was reduced to 33,000 GWh.

Furthermore, based on construction commitments and procurement processes currently under way, Green Energy Markets says the 9,691 megawatts of projects that will be delivered suggests that the National Energy Guarantee will deliver no meaningful emission reduction benefit unless the emissions target becomes more ambitious.

Renewables Close To 20% Of Generation

In March, renewable energy sources (large-scale and rooftop solar, wind, bioenergy and hydro) made up 19.7% of mains grid electricity generated and was enough to power the equivalent of 8.7 million homes. Rooftop solar generated 935 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity last month.

Green Energy Markets’ latest Renewable Energy Index, along with the methodology used in compiling the report, can be viewed here (PDF).

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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