Australian news, and some related international items

Western Australian suburb Baldivis tops nation for solar rooftops

Baldivis tops nation for power from sun, 1 May 2017 The southern Perth postcode of Baldivis is Australia’s solar capital, with more than two-thirds of houses in the suburb generating their own power from the sun.

With electricity prices spiralling and a rush towards green energy, fresh figures show the rate of solar panel installations across Australia led by WA is gathering pace.

There are almost 230,000 households and small businesses with solar panels across WA after a massive 71 per cent increase in installations in past 10 months alone.

More than a quarter of WA homes have solar panels. But the figures show the rate of solar uptake in some suburbs is sky-high, with a staggering 69 per cent of households in Baldivis having a system.

According to the figures, from the Australia Photovoltaic Institute, there are 5765 “dwellings” in Baldivis and 3951 of them have solar panels — the highest rate of penetration in Australia.

It was a similar story in Byford, where 56 per cent of 3326 households had rooftop PV, as well as Rockingham, where uptake was 53 per cent.

The figures also show Mandurah, while having a lower penetration rate, had the second highest number of solar panel installations of any suburb in the country.

Of the 28,428 households in the southern centre, almost 10,000 had photovoltaic cells, behind only Bundaberg in Queensland, which had 10,529 systems. Australian Photovoltaic Institute chairman Renate Egan said it was remarkable that solar was so popular that in some suburbs the households without solar panels were outnumbered by those which did have them.

Warwick Johnston, an analyst with consultancy SunWiz, said WA trailed Queensland and NSW on installations.

“The biggest change has been WA leapfrogging Victoria into third place when it comes to the number of new solar installations,” Mr Johnston said.

The latest figures came as Energy Networks Australia — which represents grid operators such as Western Power — released a report showing the amount of solar power in WA was set to triple in the next 13 years.

It said using battery storage systems, electric cars and “smart homes” would also rise.

ENA boss John Bradley said more than 40 per cent of WA’s electricity was predicted to come from renewable sources by 2030 amid moves to de-carbonise the economy.

May 1, 2017 - Posted by | solar, Western Australia

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