Solar power continues to shine

Queenslanders attracted by cheaper power and benefits for environment.

Solar power remains popular with homeowners looking to save money on energy consumption while helping the environment, according to Australian Energy Council (AEC) data.

The AEC’s latest Solar Report said the second quarter of 2020 showed that Australia’s rooftop solar industry was maintaining healthy growth.

“According to the Clean Energy Regulator’s (CER) latest Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme data, more than 2.46 million solar systems have been installed on households, community centres, schools and small businesses,” the report said.

“This has resulted in more than 86,000 new installations compared to the first quarter of 2020 (56,000 installations) to reach a cumulative installed capacity of 11.4 gigawatts (GW).”

Queenslanders were among the biggest adopters of solar power over the period, with a peak of 7500 installations in March, the month with the highest uptake of new PV installations for the period.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said more than 600,000 Queensland homes and small businesses now had rooftop solar panels helping drive down their power bills.

He said one in three Queensland homes was now equipped with rooftop solar and the state had six of the top 10 solar postcodes in Australia.

“The Sunshine State is fast becoming the Solar State,” Dr Lynham said.

“Queensland has one of the highest penetrations of solar in the world.

“Four of Australia’s top-five solar postcodes are in Queensland, with Bundaberg number one and Hervey Bay, Mackay and Toowoomba at three, four and five. Caloundra comes in at ninth and then Beenleigh at number 10.”

“This is good news for the environment, good news for household power bills and good news for jobs and business in the renewables industry.”

Brisbane-based GEM Energy CEO Jack Hooper said solar systems “harnessed the power of nature to cut energy bills and protect our environment”.

“Over these last few years, more and more households have realised that investing in solar energy for their home is a great way to save money in the longer term,” Mr Hooper said.

“A quality solar energy system that is properly specified to your needs can pay for itself within three to four years and end up saving you $50,000 over the life of the system.”

Mr Hooper said increased affordability for solar power was making it more attractive for homeowners.

“A solar energy system is definitely worth it as solar panel prices are more affordable than ever before but it’s important to do your research and not compromise on quality,” Mr Hooper said.

“The technology has matured and it has reached a point where it is just about as well-priced as it ever will be.”

Speak to your energy provider about your options or look into how you can save on your energy bills with the RACQ member offers, thanks to GEM Energy at racq.com/solar