error code: 502 Solar Energy Facts | Technology | Clean Energy Council
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Solar

Solar In Northcote

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roofs of homes and businesses use energy from the sun to generate electricity cleanly and quietly. The conversion of sunlight into electricity takes place in cells of specially fabricated semiconductor crystals.

Solar doesn't generate electricity all the time, but it does generate electricity when it is needed most – during the day and during hot sunny periods when the demand for power (driven by air conditioners) is at its peak.

Another bonus of small-scale solar is that it generates electricity at the point of demand (i.e. where people live and work). This means that there is no need to transfer energy over long distances using expensive electrical infrastructure.

Australia is one of the sunniest continents in the world. Given a stable policy environment, there is massive potential for solar to make a significant contribution to electricity generation in Australia over the coming decades.

Solar generation

In 2020, small-scale solar (systems up to 100 kW) was responsible for 23.5 per cent of Australia's clean energy generation and produced 6.5 per cent of the country's total electricity.

23.5%

of total clean energy generated in 2020

6.5%

of total electricity generated in 2020

The growth of solar

Almost 3 million households now enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar across Australia.

There were 378,451 rooftop solar installations in 2020, which was the most installations in the industry's history. This resulted in the industry adding 3 GW of new capacity in 2020, easily beating the previous record of 2.2 GW set in 2019.

Total solar installations (at 31 December 2020)

Hint Hover over the map to see state data

Installations
764k
Homes with solar
38%
Installations
652k
Homes with solar
21%
Installations
517k
Homes with solar
21%
Installations
372k
Homes with solar
35%
Installations
308k
Homes with solar
40%
Installations
40k
Homes with solar
17%
Installations
32k
Homes with solar
20%
Installations
18k
Homes with solar
20%
Installations
2.7m
Homes with solar
27.3%
No results for this state.

Top solar suburbs in each state (at 31 December 2020)

StateSuburbInstallationsCapacity (kW)
ACTMacgregor

3777

17,741

NSWDubbo

8275

37,041

NTCasuarina

3142

20,059
QLDBundaberg15,302

70,843

SASalisbury

6307

25,255
TASLaunceston324815,662
VICHoppers Crossing

12,476

63,274

WAMandurah

14,487

55,207

Annual installed capacity of solar

    Medium-scale solar

    The medium-scale solar sector (systems between 100 kW and 5 MW) added 117 MW of new capacity in 2020, which was the sector's second-best year.

    There is now 521 MW of capacity in the medium-scale sector, with the size of the industry more than doubling over the past two years.

    The rapid growth has been due to shopping centres, hospitals, schools and commercial buildings installing solar to take back control of their rising electricity costs and increasing their focus on sustainability.

    Resources

    Solar guide for households

    View

    Solar guide for businesses

    View