Australia exceeds 25 GW of installed photovoltaic energy

Australia exceeds 25 GW of installed photovoltaic energy

The country has marked a historic milestone that, according to the Australian Photovoltaic Energy Institute, accounts for more solar energy per capita than anywhere else in the world.

With a population of around 25 million, Australia now has almost 1 kW of PV power installed per person, allowing it to easily maintain its status as a world leader.

As of the end of 2021, there were more than 3.04 million PV installations in Australia, with a combined capacity of more than 25.3GW, the Australian Photovoltaic Institute noted.

The Australian solar market has experienced periods of strong growth since the government’s Renewable Energy Targets (RET) program was launched on April 1, 2001. Between 2001 and 2010, the growth of the solar market was around 15%, before a period of much faster growth from 2010 to 2013.

After stabilizing between 2014 and 2015, the market tends to increase, driven by residential installations. Rooftop solar now plays an important role in Australia’s energy mix, contributing 7.9% to National Electricity Market (NEM) demand in 2021, up from 6.4% in 2020 and 5 .2% in 2019.

Climate Council
Image – Australian PV Institute

According to figures published by the Climate Council in February, renewable energy generation in the National Electricity Market increased by almost 20% in 2021, as renewables supplied 31.4% of electricity generation last year.

In South Australia, these percentages are much more staggering. In the last days of 2021, the state ran for almost a week on renewable energy. South Australia’s 156-hour period, powered by wind, rooftop solar and large-scale solar farms, bolstered by fractional amounts of gas, was considered a record for comparable grids around the world.