Australia tops the world in household solar panels
Australians lead in fitting solar panels on homes, SMH, August 18, 2012 Ben Cubby AUSTRALIANS put more household solar panel systems on their roofs than anyone else in the world last year, new data from the Clean Energy Regulator and the International Energy Agency show. The statistic astonished many in the solar industry, given Australia’s small population compared with renewable energy market leaders such as European Union countries, China, Japan and the United States.
About 392,500 new household solar systems were switched on last year. Australia still generates far less solar electricity than those countries, but the nation’s preference for small, individual panels mounted on detached, owner-occupied suburban homes means a greater number of systems were actually installed.
”It took me by surprise that we were first, because Germany and Italy
are so big,” said Ric Brazzale, the president of the REC Agents
Association, a body representing traders and creators of renewable
”Australian support for solar has had a lot of support at the
residential level, and all political parties in the country have
supported residential solar. Elsewhere in the world, most policy is
geared towards much larger-scale commercial projects.”
Altogether, 785 megawatts of solar power was installed in Australia
last year, virtually all in the form of small-scale panel systems on
homes and businesses.
This meant Australia just scraped in ahead of Japan and Germany, which
deployed about 759 megawatts of small-scale solar power – although
that represents only about 10 per cent of total German solar
production. Similarly, in other big solar nations such as the US and
China, government incentives emphasise big solar power plants, and
only a small proportion of renewable energy comes from households
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