Australia can now boast of over 23.2 million solar PV panels saving citizens $1 billion on their power bills each year.
According to a new report from Solar Citizens, “an independent community based organisation,” Australia reached 23.2 million solar PV panels installed earlier this year — the equivalent of one per person in the country.
Solar Citizens also calculated the savings currently being made by solar owners on their regular electricity bills, analysing average electricity retail rates across all State and Territories over the past 8 financial years, revealing that solar households have saved $4.4 billion on their power bills since FY 2007–2008, and have been saving around $1 billion every year over the past three years.
“The pace of rooftop solar installation in Australia has been nothing short of phenomenal in recent years,” said Claire O’Rourke, National Director of Solar Citizens. “Solar panels are now a regular and normalised part of Australian life. In fact, Australians spend as much on their solar as they do on tea and coffee.”
In terms of investment, the report shows that 1.5 million Australian households and small businesses have invested more than $8 billion into rooftop solar PV. In fact, the investment figures reported in The State of Solar: Australia’s Solar Rooftop Boom are the highlight of the Solar Citizen’s research. During the 2014–2015 financial year, Australians invested $1.23 billion in rooftop solar — compared to only $118 million invested in large-scale solar projects in the calendar year 2014. So far, it is the hard-earned cash of Australian homeowners and small business owners that is driving the renewable energy transformation in Australia.
“Australians are leading the renewables charge and this new set of data plainly reveals that investment in solar PV has been the backbone of the renewables revolution in Australia,” said O’Rourke.
So far in 2016, Australia’s rooftop solar PV installation base has generated over 6.5 TWh, preventing 6.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
And with Australia about to go to the polls this weekend in the country’s federal election, this goes a long way to showing what Australians want from their politicians.
“Australian political leaders need to understand just how much the average Australian themselves have committed of their own money to play a part in the transition of our power system,” added O’Rourke. “With 5 million Australians (or 1 in 5 voters) living under a solar roof, this is potent political constituency.”
Image Credit: Solar Citizens, via Twitter