A Million Solar Roofs in Australia Achieved in 5 Years

The Clean Energy Council recently announced that Australia has reached a significant milestone: one million rooftop solar PV power systems installed. More notable is the fact that just about all of these systems were installed in the past five years:

It is remarkable when you think that just five years ago in 2008 there were only about 20,000 systems installed across the entire country.

The solar industry currently employs over 8,000 Australians, and has led to billions of dollars in investment behind Australia’s 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target.

Solar is the Hills Hoist of the 21st Century.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive David Green - April 2013

How does that compare to other countries?

To put this in context, Germany achieved an equivalent installed capacity of around 2 gigawatts (GW) back in 2005. They now have well over 30 GW of solar PV panels installed. So there's still plenty of catching up to do, if that's what we're after.

How much is 2 GW anyway?

2 GW of power is the same amount generated by a very large nuclear or coal power station (with multiple generators at the one site). Unlike coal, solar PV doesn't do much at night, but that doesn't take away from the fact this is a very substantial contribution to our energy needs.

More importantly, the power generation is where we actually need it: distributed within the electricity network, not hundreds of kilometres away at a power station.

What policy got us here?

Unlike other countries (Japan, from memory) or US states (California) we didn't have "A Million Solar Roofs" policy to get here. Instead we had a hodgepodge state-by-state and federal policy mess. 

In fact, many PV policies in Australia have been too generous. Take for example the feed-in-tariff in NSW which gave homeowners 60 cents per kWh generated by their solar panels, regardless of whether that power was exported to the grid or not. Most of these 'over generous' policies have now been pared back, yet installations are still proceeding at a reasonable rate thanks to the global slump in solar panels prices. So some would say the policy mishmash has been successful after all.

The solar PV industry has employed an army of electricians and installers across the country. They've rolled out over 2 GW of installed capacity far faster than you can do with most other technologies (coal or nuclear, for example).

Now all we need to do is hit the repeat button.

Oh yeah, and actually become energy efficient, so we're not wasting all that precious sun-powered electricity!

- Ryan McCarthy

By Ryan McCarthy |

Know someone who might be interested?
Share this article:

next post → ← older post

Got a Question?

stop sign

Please see our FAQ, delivery, pricing, and product pages for commonly asked questions and answers.

About Reduction Revolution

Reduction Revolution is a business focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. Our products will help slash your energy usage. But they also often improve comfort, save time, and reduce your maintenance costs. That's why we say waste less, live better.

Australia New Zealand Map

Reduction Revolution Pty Ltd is an Australian owned and operated business (ABN 74 141 672 764).

Since 2010 we have supplied tens of thousands of customers across Australia & NZ.

Click the links below to find out more:

About Us
Blog Posts - Frequently Asked Questions - Delivery Details - Discounts & Wholesale - Warranty & Returns - Contact - Search

Meters & Monitors
Power Meters - Energy Monitors - Thermal Imaging - Thermometers - Water Monitor - Light Meter

LED Lighting
Downlights - Light Bulbs - Filament Bulbs - LED Tubes - Oyster Lights - Strip Lights - Batten Lights - Panels / Troffers - High Bays - Motion Sensors - Floodlights - Emergency Lights

Energy Savers
Heating & Cooling - Hot Water - Cooking - Standby & Control - Pool Pumps - Portable Power

Read Our Customer Reviews!

Latest Blog Posts

  • How to Install an Energy Monitor If You Have Solar Power

    To get the most out of your solar panels it's critical that you understand your energy usage. Many people who fail to monitor their energy usage end up with high electricity bills, even if they have solar power installed. We sell several... read more

  • How Much Power a Fridge Uses - in Watts, Cost & kWh

    Domestic fridge power consumption is typically between 100 and 250 watts. Over a full day, a fridge is likely to use between 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This translates into a running cost of about $150 per year per fridge. Before you think "okay great... read more

  • Top 10 Causes of (& Solutions to) High Electricity Bills

    If you've received a high electricity bill or gas bill you can end up feeling pretty helpless. I've spoken to many people over the years who think their high electricity bill was caused by: an electricity leak, a faulty appliance, an... read more