Australia leads the world with rooftop solar installations. Nearly one in three private dwellings have a rooftop solar system installed. There are over 2.5 million installations around the country, and it is continuing to grow year, on year, on year. But why is Solar so popular in Australia?
There are many reasons why Australians have adopted solar so aggressively, we cover off three of the top things that have positively impacted its growth.
- Government Money
The biggest reason solar in Australia has taken off is the continued spending by the Government. There have been multiple ways that money has been invested into growing solar however there are two that stand out the most. Huge tariffs in the early days and then followed with financial incentives known as STC’s.
When solar was first being put on household roofs in Australia, the technology wasn’t very advanced and still cost a lot to get a little. A 1.5kW system cost more than $10,000 AUD so the government’s original solution was huge feed in tariffs. This meant, any excess power that was being fed back into the grid was being paid to consumers at $0.60c.
Solar then grew, alot.
People were installing solar panels and basically turning their roof into a mini powerplant that was cash flow positive, very quickly.
Then came STC’s.
As technology got much better as solar popularity grew, the government could not keep handing out .60c feed in tariffs so they turned to the STC program. The STC program is structured to give you more of a financial incentive the bigger the system you install.
One of the most popular solar installations in Australia today is a 6.6kw solar system. This is due to multiple reasons but one of the main reasons is the STC value associated with it. If you install a 6.6kw system in 2021, you will get over $3,000.00 AUD in incentives from the government to support the upfront installation costs.
The STC program continues to be a massive success in Australia and isn’t due to finish till 2030. It will diminish year on year in value though, so sooner is better than later in this instance.
- High Energy Costs
Energy costs in Australia, compared to the rest of the world are quite high. Currently, the average price in the UK is around 12 pents or $0.21 AUD and America is $0.13 USD so circa $0.21c AUD. When we compare that to Australia at $0.30c per kWh, you can see quite clearly, with similar energy usage the bills can stack up quite quickly.
Solar saves you the most money when you self-consume the energy you create. So, when you are paying $.30c a kWh, nearly 50% more than some other established countries, it makes sense very quickly to have solar.
These high energy costs are for many reasons, but a lot is due to the infrastructure costs associated with actually delivering the power to your home or business (grid growth, maintenance etc.).
- Great Weather
The last reason which has been vital in ensuring the growth and success of solar in Australia is the beautiful further. It does not take a genius to work out, when you have solar it sure does help if you get a lot of sun and in Australia, there sure is a lot of that.
In Sydney, the country’s most populous city there are on average 2,635 hours of sunlight every single year. To put that into perspective London sits at 1,633 hours and Shang Hai 1,775, there is a lot more opportunity to create your own power.
Thanks to incredible growth and technological advancements, even in lower sunshine areas that experience more cloudiness, the economics can still work purely from a financial perspective it just takes a little longer to pay back the investment. As the world makes the switch to renewable energy, it is great to see individuals take it upon themselves to make an impact. Installing solar can not only reduce your bills but you will help the world for generations to come.