Australia’s 500,000 solar homes


The report looked at renewable electricity generation across the board and revealed that power for around four million homes was produced in 2011. This means that the country is well on the way to meet its goal of producing 20 percent of its power through renewable sources by 2020.

The progress of photovoltaics was outstanding, with a cumulative total of over one gigawatt (GW), being installed between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. There are now 35 times more photovoltaic systems installed in Australia than three years ago.

The progress of photovoltaics in Australia has mostly taken the form of many small, residential installations. Large power plants are rare but have been given a "kick start" by the Federal Government’s Solar Flagships project.

The Federal Government is also having an impact on encouraging residential installations, through its Renewable Energy Credit (REC) multiplier scheme, which subsidizes systems smaller than 1.5 kilowatts (kW). Furthermore, the recently-passed carbon tax will increase the cost of coal-generated electricity, providing a further incentive for going solar.

In fact, with high levels of irradiation nationwide, some argue that residential grid parity has arrived, on average, throughout Australia. The ANU’s Andrew Blakers argued this in a paper released earlier this year.

The Sustainable Energy of Australia (SEA) has further backed up Blakers claims. In a statement released today, the SEA has argued that for households with a 25-year, AUD$100,000 mortgage, the installation of a photovoltaic system will result in savings the equivalent of shaving four years off a mortgage.

The SEA’s calculations are set out in the release: "Assuming a set of solar panels installed for $3, 000 (net price with REC multiplier) for a 1.5 kw system yielding around $600 saving a year in generated electricity costs (at 22 cents /kWh), adding the purchase price to a $100,000, 25 year mortgage to $103,000, if the entire energy saving is reinvested instead to fortnightly repayments of $350 on a mortgage with a 7.5 percent interest rate to $375, the $103 000 mortgage would be paid off in 21 years."

SEA Chief Executive Ray Wills said that the logic of increasing electricity prices means that the savings will only increase over time. "Of course if electricity prices rise the value of savings increases, and your ability to pay off your mortgage would not be compromised by rising energy bills."

Popular content

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:


Related content

Elsewhere on pv magazine...

Leave a Reply

Please be mindful of our community standards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.