Small-scale solar energy continues to grow in Australia

January 23, 2015 0 By Alicia Moore

800 MW of small-scale solar capacity added in Australia throughout 2014

Green Energy Markets has released a report showing that small-scale solar energy capacity reached 800 megawatts of capacity in Australia last year. The country had been a strong supporter of solar power in the past, but recent changes in government policy have reduced this support by a considerable margin. The Australian government sees solar power as a risky investment, which may not be able to accommodate the country’s energy needs in an efficient manner.

Government support for solar power is beginning to wear thin

While the government may not be showing strong support for solar power, public support for this form of renewable energy continues to grow. Homeowners, in particular, are demanding new solar installations, hoping to cut down on their reliance on the country’s utilities. Home-based solar power systems have become very attractive to homeowners, especially as the companies responsible for these systems offer affordable services. A growing number of businesses are also showing support for solar energy, citing this form of power as an economic alternative to conventional energy solutions.

Report shows that large-scale solar energy sector is in a depressed state

Australia - Solar EnergyThe report from Green Energy Markets shows that 800 megawatts of solar installations went online in 2014. This capacity comes from 185,950 solar power systems installed throughout Australia. The report does note, however, that the large-scale solar energy sector remains in a depressed state, with relatively few large-scale projects coming online last year.  The Australian Capital Territory saw some 21 megawatts of large-scale capacity come online in 2014, with Western Australia seeing 11.5 megawatts of commercial-scale capacity added during last year.

Australian government is showing more support for conventional forms of energy

Large-scale projects represent a major financial investment, which the Australian government had once been willing to handle. Now, however, the government is more interested in conventional forms of energy. Wind power did see some support from the government in recent years, but mostly in regards to offshore projects. These projects are still under various stages of development, with most not ready to generate electrical power.

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