While it might be true that solar cannot generate electricity all the time, it does generate electricity when it is needed most – during the day and on hot sunny days when electricity demand is at its peak
driven by air-conditioners.
Importantly, electricity is generated at the point of demand - where people live and work which means there is no need to transfer the energy long distances across expensive infrastructure.
Greenhouse gas savings
Solar power is a zero-emission electricity source. One megawatt hour of solar-derived electricity avoids approximately one tonne of CO2.
Solar PV power is installed on more than 800,000 rooftops across Australia. At the end of November 2012 total solar PV capacity installed nationwide reached more than 2.144 gigawatts. More than 895 megawatts of solar PV was installed in 2011, a growth of 110 per cent on 2010. At current installed capacity, PV represents 3.2% of all current generation capacity.
The majority of solar PV installations are grid-connected systems. However solar PV also has a long history of supplying reliable 'off-grid' power to remote and regional Australian communities.
With the right federal policy in place providing incentives for take-up, we can ensure continued growth of Australia’s solar PV industry.The Clean Energy Council is actively advocating for solar feed-in tariffs that reflect a fair and reasonable value for the energy that households export to the grid.
As one of the sunniest continents in the world, there is massive potential for solar PV to make a significant contribution to electricity generation in Australia. Couple this unrivalled resource with a multitude of open spaces, and there is no reason why Australia cannot have large scale installations generating many megawatts of electricity for sale into the grid.