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Australians install a record three million small-scale renewable energy systems

21 June 2018

Australian homes and small businesses have now installed more than three million small-scale renewable energy systems since the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme was introduced in 2001, which have the capacity to generate or displace around 12.9 million megawatt hours of electricity annually.

“This is another milestone demonstrating Australians are making the most of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to access clean, renewable energy systems. This helps them to have better control over their energy costs,” said Clean Energy Regulator Executive General Manager Mark Williamson.

“One in five Australian homes now generate their own renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions through rooftop solar,” Mr Williamson said.

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme provides incentives to households and small businesses by issuing small-scale technology certificates for every megawatt hour of renewable energy generated or displaced by an accredited solar panel, wind, hydro system, solar water heater or air source heat pump.

The majority of installations were rooftop solar panel systems, providing around 63 per cent of the three million total, with solar water heaters (29 per cent) and air source heat pumps (8 per cent) making up the majority of the remaining installations.

“Queensland continues to live up to its reputation as the sunshine state, installing a record 839,461 small-scale renewable energy systems compared to New South Wales in second place with 694,154 systems,” Mr Williamson said.

Victoria had the third highest number of installations with 636,157, followed by Western Australia with 436,611.

This milestone caps off a record year of more than one gigawatt of solar capacity installed in 2017.

Of the annual 12.9 million megawatt hours of electricity, 72 per cent is generated by solar panel, hydro or wind systems and 28 per cent is displaced (reduces overall electricity consumption) by solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.

“Over the past few years we have seen a trend of larger systems being installed as technology advances and prices fall,” Mr Williamson said.

“These larger systems are not just being installed by households. More schools, community groups and businesses are installing systems and seeing the financial and environmental benefits of renewable energy.”

Three million installations infographic


Download infographic as PDF

About the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive for individuals and small businesses to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems such as solar panel systems, small-scale wind systems, small-scale hydro systems, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.

Learn more about the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.


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