More than one million households in Australia had solar panels installed by the end of last month, according to the latest figures released by the Government.
Data from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator showed nearly 2.5GW of solar capacity was installed in 1,000,643 homes, with nearly 800,000 solar hot water heaters and air source heat pump systems installed under the Renewable Energy Target.
Under the target, small-scale renewable installations receive incentives based on the amount of electricity the systems generate, which include solar panels, hot water heaters and heat pumps. The Renewable Energy Target is also designed to deliver on the nation’s commitment to ensure at least 20% of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
The state of Queensland installed a total of 771MW of solar power, followed by New South Wales with a total capacity of 536MW.
David Green, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council said: “It is remarkable when you think that just five years ago in 2008 there were only about 20,000 systems installed across the entire country. For some years solar has been most enthusiastically embraced by those in mortgage-belt suburbs, retirement areas and regional parts of the country. People from all walks of life have been installing solar as a way of protecting themselves from power price pain over the long term.”
He added the Australian solar industry currently employs more than 8,000 people.