Rooftop installations broke a solar record with its March figures. In fact, solar came on strong in the first quarter of 2017.   

Australia: Solar panel installations continue to rise

March was a record-breaker for solar rooftop installations in Australia. Latest industry statistics confirmed that installations reached the highest monthly total since August 2012. It was almost twice the volume of solar installations recorded in the same month last year.

According to Sunwiz, a solar energy consultant, the installation figures in March 2017 topped 92MW. But apparently, the rooftop solar invasion did not begin that month. It started in January and continued in February, though not as notable as March.

The first quarter impressed the solar community with a total of 230MW of rooftop installations.

States with strongest rooftop installations

As expected, states where solar is fast-growing dominated the market. Solar hub, Queensland, was March’s top contributor with 25MW of rooftop solar. New South Wales followed closely with 21MW. South Australia and Western Australia were also leading with 17MW each.

Queensland’s 25MW is enough to power around 5,500 households and businesses. All over Australia, 5.58GW of solar panels are now installed and providing solar energy to 1.67 million households.

Why households and businesses went solar

Warwick Johnston of Sunwiz attributed the astounding installation figures to rising electricity prices and South Australia’s recent blackouts. Over the years, Australia’s power rates have not been consumer-friendly, paving the way for renewables to gain an edge.

The recent blackouts also made home and business owners consider going solar. Australians look for ways to reduce their dependency on conventional energy sincethere’s no assurance of stability anyway. In addition to cost and stability, it’s also hard to ignore the growing number of Australians supporting clean energy use.

Finally, solar costs made it convenient for everyone to approve rooftop installations. As the average household solar system cost went down, solar panel installations increased. Rooftop installations had a bright first quarter and the trend seems to indicate a strong 2017 for solar panel installations.