Australia has reached a historic milestone – the country has reached 25GW of installed solar capacity. As announced by the Australian PV Institute on Monday (February 14), its per capita solar power has surpassed that of any country and region in the world.
With a population of about 25 million, Australia now has nearly 1kW of installed photovoltaic capacity per person, far ahead of the world.
The Australian Photovoltaic Institute pointed out that by the end of 2021, there were more than 3.04 million photovoltaic installations in Australia, with a total capacity of more than 25.3GW.
Since April 1, 2001, when the Australian government began implementing the Renewable Energy Target (RET) program, the country’s solar market has experienced a period of dramatic growth. The solar market maintained a growth rate of around 15% between 2001 and 2010, and then saw a more rapid growth period between 2010 and 2013.
After stabilizing in 2014 and 2015, the market is trending upward again, driven by residential PV installations. Today, rooftop solar plays a major 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. According to figures released by the Climate Commission in February, renewable power generation in Australia’s national electricity market will increase by nearly 20 per cent in 2021, with renewables accounting for 31.4 per cent last year. In South Australia, these figures are even more alarmingly high. In the final days of 2021, the state ran purely on renewable energy for nearly a week. South Australia ran for 156 hours with wind, rooftop solar and utility-scale solar farms (assisted only sporadically by natural gas) in what is believed to be a record-breaking global grid of its kind.