Australia, Projects, Renewables, Solar, Uncategorised

Aussie rooftop solar potential unveiled for $9.3b savings

Researchers have uncovered a massive untapped potential for rooftop solar installations across Australia, which could deliver $9.3 billion in annual cost savings for people living in apartments, social housing, and rental properties.

The study, conducted by the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering in collaboration with the Australian Photovoltaic Institute, found that the total potential for rooftop solar installation is estimated at approximately 61 gigawatts (GW) – three times the current 15.1GW of residential solar installed in the country.

“Our analysis found the power of solar can deliver average annual household bill savings $1300 each year,” Dr. Mike Roberts said, who is UNSW Senior Research Fellow and one of the authors of the report.

“Apartments are another housing type where government investment now will pay high dividends in cheaper bills and less emissions for long into the future.”

The report highlighted that certain sectors, such as social housing and rental properties, are significantly underrepresented in Australia’s residential solar penetration, missing out on the substantial savings and environmental benefits.

“Apartment residents could be saving an average of $500 to $700 a year on their energy bills and could be paying off the system in five years or less,” Roberts said.

“While we have seen recent action on solar for social housing through collaboration between several State and Federal Governments, this approach should be fast-tracked to a greater number of social homes, given the outstanding cost savings on bills and other benefits delivered.”

Beyond the household savings, the report found that closing the solar potential gap would create 240,000 additional job-years of employment in the solar industry, supporting those working in sales and installation roles.

“Australian households struggling with rising costs of living have the potential for more than $9 billion in energy bill savings sitting right now in untapped rooftop solar potential,” National Campaigns Director at Solar Citizens Joel Pringle said.

“Unlocking this solar potential can return money to people’s pockets, deliver 785 megatonnes in avoided carbon emissions over 20 years, and the up-front investment is repaid in bill savings for households within about five years.”

The report’s findings highlight the critical need for targeted incentives and policy support to encourage the adoption of rooftop solar, particularly in the rental and social housing sectors, to ensure that the benefits of clean, affordable energy are accessible to all Australians.

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