Australia Reached 3.1 GW Rooftop Photovoltaic Capacity In 2013

Australia ended 2013 with over 1.6 million PV systems installed on rooftops, representing almost 3.1GW cumulative capacity of rooftop solar power installed across the country.

Currently the country has 1,161,245 rooftop PV systems, representing 3,096 MW of installed PV capacity. 671.9 MW is the amount of new rooftop PV systems in 2013. In December, 1,723 new rooftop PV installations totaling 7.5 MW were registered under the country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, down sharply from 44.7 MW in November, 61.9 MW in October and 55.9 MW in September. December’s numbers, however, are provisional and will be updated and likely increased in January’s statistics. The country had around 2.4 GW of cumulative installed rooftop PV power at the end of 2012 and of 1.3 GW at the end of 2011.

image thumb2 Australia Reached 3.1 GW Rooftop Photovoltaic Capacity In 2013

At present, December figures show a sharp decline in new installations from the preceding three months – in November around 44.7MW was installed, in October 61.9MW was added while September saw 55.9MW installed.

New systems are registered with the country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, which is aimed at supplying 20% of Australia’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Australian prime minister Tony Abbot, who took office in September 2013, has made clear his intention to drastically cut spending on climate targets and highlighted the possibility of scrapping the RET, citing high consumer energy prices as a more eminent priority.

The Clean Energy Authority’s statistics show that more than two million small-scale renewable energy systems have been installed in the country to date. The majority of those are solar powered, with over 669,000 solar water heaters installed in addition to the 3.1GW of small scale PV plants. Small-scale solar generated 4,182GWh of energy output, while 2,700GWh of energy was displaced by solar water heaters and air source heat pumps. By contrast, installed capacity of wind by small generation units (SGU) stood at around 1.4MW across 377 installations and only 22kW rated output of hydro was generated by 15 SGUs.

Renewable energy capacity in Australia from small-scale renewable systems is enough to annually generate or displace a total of 6,882GWh of electricity, equivalent to the power required to meet the demand of around 1.04 million Australian homes for a year.

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