Just over a year ago, this One Step Off The Grid article reported that Climate Council data had counted a total of 14 postcodes in Australia where half or more households had installed rooftop solar PV.
Fast forward to October 31, 2017, and a new Climate Council report, this time on the state of renewables in Queensland, has found that there are now 14 postcodes in the Sunshine State alone, where more than 50 per cent of households have rooftop solar (APVI 2017).
Across the board, almost a third (31.6 per cent) of all Queensland homes now have solar panels, which puts the state ahead of South Australia, at 30.5 per cent, and Western Australia at 25.4 per cent.
In the Moreton Bay region town of Elimbah, an impressive 63 per cent of homes have installed rooftop solar, making it the second highest solar suburb in Australia after Baldivis in WA, which has a residential PV penetration of 69 per cent.
Of course, these numbers are set to rise again soon, after the announcement of new policies from the Labor Palaszczuk government, that will open the way for thousands more homes in the Sunshine State – including the largely untapped rental market – to gain access to rooftop solar and battery storage and cut their electricity bills.
The new policies, launched on Tuesday as part of the Palaszczuk government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, will offer no-interest loans to consumers wishing to invest in rooftop solar and battery storage, but lacking the up-front capital to do so.
They will also work to give landlords and renters equal access to solar, through a trial initially involving 1000 rental households. Queensland energy minister Mark Bailey said the rental solar scheme had the potential to save tenants up to 10 per cent off their annual bill, or up to $150 a year, while landlords could get a rebate of up to $520 per year.
And why wouldn’t Queensland households install solar if they could? According to the Climate Council report, homes in the state with solar use 18 per cent less electricity from the grid than the
average residential user. And as you can see in the APVI chart below, they can tap into a cracking solar resource.