Rooftops providing more than shelter with record solar contribution

New research shows that rooftop solar continues to climb and is now generating over 4% of the total electricity however it can’t shield us from rising national emissions especially in the transport sector, which continues unfettered by any federal or state government limits.

The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released the latest National Energy Emissions Audit (The Audit) for the electricity sector, analysing the electricity sector over the previous month.

Key findings:

  • Rooftop solar continues to climb and is now generating over 4% of the total electricity used in the NEM, with the lion’s share in the residential sector.
  • Steady decrease in emissions and emissions intensity in the NEM continues, with falling brown coal generation the main contributory factor, followed by falling gas generation (which is being displaced by cheaper and cleaner renewables).
  • A lack of policy constraints have enabled transport emissions to rise, this will continue to be a problem for any future Government to curb.
  • Continuing growth in use of petroleum fuels for transport also presents supply security challenges.

“Rooftop solar has been a great success story and now amounts to over 7.5 TWh per year, equivalent to over 4% of the total electricity used in the NEM. In addition to powering homes, they continue to assist the grid by reducing peak demand on very hot days,” says Dr Hugh Saddler, energy expert and report author.

“Renewables are now at 21.2% of the electricity generated on the national grid however their growth is currently slowing as they struggle with network constraints.

“For the past three years there has been no sustained change to electricity demand on the NEM, with most of the new renewables generation replacing gas and lowering electricity sector emissions.

“We still have a major problem with growing transport emissions and any future Government must prioritise fuel efficiency standards.

“Efforts to prioritise fuel efficiency standards have dragged on for years and made little progress, leaving Australia firmly in the minority 20% of countries with no standards and costing Australians more per kilometre travelled.”

/Public Release. View in full here.