|Australian Households Chase Sun to Lead World on Solar Adoption|
The Energy Supply Association of Australia, representing the fossil fuel and renewable energy sector, has sourced data from around the world revealing household solar photovoltaic (PV) penetration in Australia is way out in front of any other nation.
The report shows almost 15 per cent of Australian households have adopted the technology to power their homes.
This is more than triple that of Germans, who are second on the world stage and typically thought of as the most prolific solar adopters.
The report breaks the data down to countries and jurisdictions illustrating where the world's most enthusiastic installers of small-scale solar energy are located.
"Germany, the US, Spain and others are held up as being at the forefront of solar power, but it is Australia, where households have taken it upon themselves to install solar PV, that easily lead the world when it comes to solar penetration," the ESAA report states.
The ACT had 15,637 household installations as of September last year, according to ActewAGL figures. Based on 2011 census data this put the ACT at about 10 per cent of households connected to solar – South Australia leads the way with almost 25 per cent of households connected to solar PV.
Although Australia leads the charge on small-scale installations, Germany is out front with utility-scale solar installations.
In terms of total solar energy produced per million people, Germany's capacity is about triple that of Australia's.
Australian Solar Council chief executive John Grimes said that was due to policies that had focused on domestic solar systems.
"The economics are compelling," Mr Grimes said. "The cost of the technology continues to fall at such a rate that it is already much cheaper to install solar than it is to buy electricity from the grid. And with the advent of cheap energy storage technology – battery technology – that really closes the loop.
"People like the Energy Supply Association and others should rightly be thinking about this. If they don't start to embrace the technology as opposed to resist it, their members companies – the big utilities – are set to become the Kodaks of the future."
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