Australia leads on household solar but losing large-scale renewables race

29.09.15 By

A new report by the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) has found everyday Australians are leading the way with household solar.

The Renewable Energy in Australia – How Do We Compare report found that Australia’s solar capacity is almost entirely located on Australian rooftops, with a 15% penetration rate across all Australian households, jumping up to more than 60% in some areas.

However as a nation, Australia continues to lag behind on utility and larger scale solar installations, and does not even rank in the top 10 for combined wind and solar capacity despite having some of the best renewable energy resources in the world.


The report found South Australia is the country’s renewable energy leader with the second-largest wind and solar capacity per capita in the world, behind US state Iowa.

Climate Council chief councillor Tim Flannery said the report highlighted the disconnect between recent federal government policy actions which discouraged the growth of the renewable energy and state level and community support for renewables.

“On a community level, Australia is leading the way on renewables with the highest levels of household solar in the world and more than half of households in some areas of South Australia and Queensland with solar panels,” he said.

“But on a national scale, we are far behind the rest of the world. Australia still sources more of its power from fossil fuels than other comparable countries in the world and we’re not even in the top 10 for wind and solar capacity.

“Australians want more renewable energy. More than a million jobs were created in renewable energy globally in the past year with record levels of investment. Renewable energy is also crucial to tackling climate change. It’s win-win.

“It’s time for a rethink on renewable energy policy and for Australia to join the renewables race.

Image credit: Flickr user Greens MPs licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0