Australian homes and business installed more renewable energy capacity in 2017 than ever before.

According to the Clean Energy Regulator’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme data, more than 1057 megawatts was installed last year, mostly from rooftop solar, and the number is expected to reach over 1070 megawatts this year.

This equates to 3.5 million solar panels being fixed to Australian rooftops, or more than 9500 installed every day.

The data indicated there was also a preference for larger capacity systems in 2017 as reducing costs made these more attractive. The average solar system capacity has doubled in the five years since 2012, from three to six kilowatts.

Clean Energy Regulator executive general manager Mark Williamson says the increasing interest in renewables is good news for reducing carbon emissions.

“We are seeing a wide cross-section of Australians – households, community centres, schools, and small businesses – receiving incentives under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.”

“Our data shows consumers are embracing renewable energy to take control of their electricity bills,” said Williamson.

In 2017, there was a 41% increase in installed renewable energy capacity across all states and territories compared to 2016. Queensland led the way with installed capacity at 295 megawatts, with the Australian Capital Territory taking top place for biggest annual increase, up 57%.

“The data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator in 2017 reflects the industry is going from strength to strength. It looks like 2018 will be another big year for the solar industry,” said Williamson.

Record year of renewable energy