• Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has reported that the country installed more than 1,057 MW in 2017, a number that’s expected to end up at more than 1,070 MW
  • This equates to 9,500 rooftop PV systems installed every day last year, with a total of 3.5 million solar panels
  • The state of Queensland installed the highest capacity of 295 MW during the reported year, followed by New South Wales with 246 MW
  • Consumer interest has swelled with reduced costs; the average solar system capacity since 2012 has increased from 3 kW to 6 kW

The Australian solar rooftop market was abuzz with activity in 2017. The data from Australian Clean Energy Regulator’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme shows over 1,057 MW was installed during the year, with rooftop solar making up most of that. This number is an early estimate  and expected to exceed 1,070 MW in the end.

1,057 MW is equivalent to 3.5 million solar panels on Australian rooftops installed in 2017 or more than 9,500 systems installed every day.

The 2017 number reflects a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 41% in installed small-scale renewable energy capacity across all states and territories. Queensland was at the top of the list with 295 MW, followed by New South Wales with 246 MW and Victoria with 191 MW. The biggest annual increase, however, was recorded in the Australian Capital Territory, which grew 57%.

With falling costs, residential consumers are slowly warming up to the idea of larger capacity solar systems. Since 2012, the agency points out, average solar system capacity has doubled from 3 kW to 6 kW. “The data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator in 2017 reflects the industry is going from strength to strength,” said Clean Energy Regulator Executive General Manager Mark Williamson, adding, “It looks like 2018 will be another big year for the solar industry.”

At the end of December 2017, Australia’s rooftop PV capacity was 6.4 GW (see Australian Rooftop Capacity Reaches 6.4 GW). As of Jan. 31, 2018, the number exceeded 6.5 GW.