What are Australia’s top solar suburbs?

Australia has the highest rate of Solar PV penetration in the world, with 15% of homes now installed with solar panels – twice as many as the next country, Belgium (7.5%). That’s right, Belguim. According to the Climate Council’s most recent report, some suburbs of Australia have reached solar penetrations of up to 65%, or ‘as common as insulation’.

Queensland has the greatest share of solar installations, with 31%. Trailing behind are the more populated states of New South Wales (22%) and Victoria (18%).

However, it’s a slightly different story when we look at the proportion of homes with roof top solar by state. Queensland (29.6%) and South Australia (28.8%) have the highest penetration of rooftop PV solar by population – fast approaching a third of homes with solar installations. This is far ahead of Western Australia which is the next closest state at 22.5%. A few states are lagging behind in rooftop PV solar, but this is generally compensated for with other large scale renewable energy generation, such as hydro and wind energy.

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Solar PV is much more prevalent in some areas, with 14 suburbs now recording roof top solar penetration of 50% or more. Angle Vale in South Australia as well as Leinster and Sir Samuel in Western Australia are the front runners with 65% of households going solar, closely followed by The Ponds in New South Wales (64%).

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Most of the listed suburbs were recorded as having low to medium incomes and are generally located in outer metropolitan and rural areas. The Climate Council report claims that key factors which encourage high solar penetration include levels of home ownership, building sustainability and energy bills as a proportion of household income.

The Climate Council says it expects Australia will see suburbs with 100% solar penetration in the near future, as solar’s growing popularity has seen it become an expectation in new homes rather than a luxury. Denman Prospect in Canberra has introduced a requirement of 3kW of solar PV in every house. Meanwhile new defence houses constructed in the Northern Territory are now designed to include a 4.5kW solar system and electric vehicle charging points in every house.

Solar installations: Top five suburbs by state

While the earlier mentioned suburbs have the highest penetration of roof top solar, this doesn’t necessarily equate to having the most solar systems installed. Using data from the Clean Energy Regulator, the suburbs with the highest number of roof top PV installations are as follows:

Queensland

Postcode/suburb(s) Total solar installations
4670 – Bundaberg, Watalgan, Mullet Creek 10,100
4655 – Hervey Bay, Great Sandy Strait 8,747
4551 – Caloundra, Currimundi, Pelican waters 8,169
4350 – Toowoomba 7,449
4211 – Beachmont, Nerang, Binna Burra 6,551

South Australia

Postcode/suburb(s) Total solar installations
5162 – Morphett Vale, Woodcroft 4,558
5159 – Aberfoyle Park, Flagstaff Hill 4,511
5108 – Salisbury, Paralowie 4,056
5158 – Hallett Cove, Sheidow Park 3,673
5114 – Blakeview, One Tree Hill 3,592

New South Wales

Postcode/suburb(s) Total solar installations
2480 – Lismore, Nimbin,  Rock Valley 4,783
2830 – Dubbo 4,659
2170 – Liverpool, Prestons, Moorebank 3,985
2259 – Wyong, Wybung, Jilliby 3,859
2486 – Bilambil, Tweed Heads South 3,857

Victoria

Postcode/suburb(s) Total solar installations
3029 – Tarneit, Truganina 5,827
3977 – Cranbourne, Devon Meadows 5,531
3030 – Werribee, Point Cook 5,257
3064 – Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park 3,617
3023 – Caroline Springs, Deer Park, Cairnlea 3,590

Western Australia

Postcode/suburb(s) Total solar installations
6210 – Mandurah 9,327
6065 – Wangara, Tapping 6,558
6155 – Canning Vale, Willetton 5,953
6164 – Cookburn Central, Jandakot 5,457
6112 – Byford 5,109

Figures are from data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator. This data only includes installations made from 2001 to April 2016.

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