Australian grassroots solar advocacy group Solar Citizens says while 6GW of solar capacity is currently installed on residential rooftops throughout Australia, there’s potential for much, much more.
Distributed solar energy in Australia is generating 8,900GWh of electricity per year – and that figure is growing. It’s more than what is generated by the coal fired clunker Liddell Power Station. And unlike Liddell, PV systems installed on homes and businesses across the country are making a significant contribution towards emissions reductions; an estimated 7.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Other benefits of small-scale solar include reining in of wholesale electricity prices and an industry that supports thousands of jobs.
There are still many naked and underutilised rooftops across the country that could be providing more of the benefits distributed PV generation brings, while saving those living below them a bundle of bucks on their electricity bills.
Based on a report by the University of NSW and Australian PV Institute prepared for the organisation, Solar Citizens states there is enough suitable residential rooftop space in Australia to host 43GW to 61GW of solar power capacity.
While various forms of assistance are available for Australians to install solar panels, the group says more could be done – particularly for those in the community often excluded from taking advantage of existing support.