Australian rooftop solar boom

4th Mar 2013

An Australian renewable energy campaign and advocacy group, 100% Renewable, recently released statistics showing the great success of solar power in Australia.

With the great amount of sunshine Australia receives, solar energy is more than a logical solution to the problem of carbon emissions and non-renewable energy sources.

Thankfully, solar panels have been quickly adopted by Australians. A large number of households – 1.5 million in fact – have installed solar panels on their roofs, providing 2.2 GW of peak capacity.

The advocacy group also revealed that prices of solar systems have also fallen dramatically, costing about a quarter of what they did four years ago, making them a more attractive option for households.

Taking advantage of the recent goodwill towards solar energy, 100% Renewable is launching an initiative titled 'Solar Citizens.' For people who support the proliferation of solar energy, or may own or want to own solar panels themselves, this will be a community project they can support.

Through it, they will be able to campaign and raise awareness for more solar installations and the use of clean renewable energy technology.

Recently, 100% Renewable teamed up with the Australian Conservation Foundation, polling over 5,000 Australians to see what they want from the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The results show renewable energy is set to remain a hot topic in Australia for some time, as popular opinion overwhelmingly supports it.

The current RET sits at 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020. Out of those polled, 93 per cent want that target to be increased to a more ambitious number. Furthermore, 98 per cent of those polled would like a RET for 2030 to be decided upon now, and 92 per cent would like that target to be 50 per cent renewable energy or above.

There is huge private investment potential stemming from the RET, through wind power and other new clean technologies developing into the mix.

Solar energy isn't just booming in Australia, either. Households in the US are also increasingly using rooftop solar panels to power their energy needs. An impressive 40 per cent of solar projects in the US are less than 500 kW in size, showing that their renewable energy sector isn't just being driven by large-scale solar projects, but by everyday citizens too.

With the increasing accessibility of solar power for households, rooftop solar panels aren't going to go away. As everyday citizens wake up to the reality of climate change and its devastation on our planet, enthusiasm for renewable energy sources has never been higher.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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