Australia Is Showing Us the Way: There's a Solar System on 1-In-5 Households!

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Green MPs

Almost 4x what it was in 2011!

If there's one thing that Australia has, it's sun. In fact, it sometimes gets so much of it these days that new colors have to be added to heat maps (see below) and heat-struck unconscious bats fall from trees. So with the price-per-watt of solar systems dropping dramatically in the past few years, it's not surprising to find out that there's a solar-power boom taking place and that 9 out of 10 Australian households are considering switching to solar power.

solar panel roof

What does that mean, concretely?

Thanks to the latest report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we now know. When the bureau started tracking such things in 2011, about 5% of households had either a rooftop solar PV system or a solar thermal hot water system (or both). Fast forward to today, and that number is 19%, or about 1 in 5 (yay, math!). That's incredible growth for just a few years, and with the price of solar systems going down every year, the next few years should be even more interesting as it starts making financial sense to switch for almost everyone in the country!

And this isn't really a solar water heater story. The 19% breaks down to about 14% solar PV and 5% solar water heaters, so solar PV is clearly the primary source of solar power in the country.

Australia solar graph

Australia Bureau of Statistics/Public Domain

As you can see above, South Australia is in the lead when it comes to solar, with 24% of households there using solar electricity. They are followed by Queensland with 20%, WA with 16%, Victoria with 11%, ACT and NSW both on 10%, Tasmania at 7%, and NT at 6%.

Weather Map Australia

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology/Public Domain

Via ABS, REnewEconomy