rooftop solar

Rooftop solar provided 14 per cent of Australia’s electricity needs this summer and dispatched more energy to the grid than brown coal and all other renewable sources, including grid-scale wind farms and solar farms.

The Clean Energy Council shared the summer statistics, and highlighted the total output for rooftop solar across summer 2023 was 8046GWh – up by 19.5 per cent compared to summer 2022.

Energy bills have risen by between 15 and 20 per cent since mid-2022 sparking a surge in small-scale solar installations.

More than three million homes and businesses now keep costs down using rooftop solar. Rising power prices are reducing the projected time for newly installed systems to pay for themselves. 

A state-by-state analysis of the summer performance tells another tale, with South Australia leading the way in rooftop solar but New South Wales being the most improved of all the states. 

The Clean Energy Council has also produced a list of Australia’s top postcodes for rooftop solar, state by state.

In New South Wales, Lismore topped the rankings; in Queensland, the Bundaberg region led rooftop solar; in South Australia, it was Salisbury; in Victoria, it was Hoppers Crossing; in Tasmania, Blackstone Heights and in Western Australia, Mandurah.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said the solar achievement was especially noteworthy, given there had been less sunshine than in an average year.

“There is no doubt with inflation and cost of living pressures, people are turning to rooftop solar in record numbers,” Mr Thornton said. 

“Thousands of Australians are switching to rooftop solar and seeing their benefits to their hip pockets and the environment. In fact, payback periods for rooftop solar are now at near record-low levels, at 3.4 years for a 7kW system.

“We’re seeing a fundamental shift; consumers are becoming energy generators, making their own clean energy, reducing their bills and taking on the electricity companies.”

Mr Thornton said the figures measure only what enters the grid.

“Even more clean, low-cost generation was produced and used by households themselves, taking pressure off our strained system,” Mr Thornton said.

“Australia is a world leader in rooftop solar.”

State GWh GWh change compared to previous summer Contribution to Generation (%) Contribution change compared to previous summer
NSW 2216 +30.5% 13.1 +35.0%
QLD 2039 +17.7% 12.5 +14.7%
SA 969 +18.5% 27.6 +12.7%
TAS 105 +16.7% 5.4 +31.7%
VIC 1590 +16.2% 12.2 +16.2%
WA 374 +7.5% 21.4 +15.7%
Australia 8046 +19.5%   14.0% +19.7%

Fig 1: Solar output across summer 2023 from OpenNEM

Battery installations are also rising, with seven per cent of new systems including battery installations in 2022.

1 2480 4670 5108 3029 7250 6210
2 2155 4655 5162 3977 7310 6065
3 2830 4551 5159 3064 7018 6112
4 2259 4350 5114 3030 7030 6164
5 2560 4300 5158 3805 7315 6155

Fig 2: Data sourced from the Clean Energy Regulator on small-scale installations

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