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Australian Solar Cities & Communities Growing!

Adelaide, Townsville, Blacktown, Alice Springs, Central Victoria, Perth and Coburg are getting $75 Million dollars over 5 years to demonstrate high penetration uptake of solar technologies, energy efficiency and smart metering. So what have they done so far?

Adelaide is using the money to put Solar Energy Panels on residential and commercial buildings. They recently installed a 50kW Solar Energy System on the Adelaide Central Bus Terminal. Which generates enough electricity to power “Tindo” the worlds first electric solar powered bus!

Alice Springs is also targeting the residential and commercial markets through a buy-back tariff and bulk purchase mechanism. Through this effort the town has seen approximately 10% of houses with Solar Energy Panels on their roofs, Crowne Plaza installed a large-scale iconic Solar Energy System on their roof. All of which combined with the energy efficiency work that the town is doing contributes to approximately 10.6 Megawatt-hours of savings in electricity per year.

Blacktown estimates that they have installed 860 panels (approximately 1MW) for residential and public housing as well as on commercial and iconic buildings. Over 2100 Solar water heaters for private and public housing have also been installed throughout the community. All of which should give a savings of 22 Gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s approximately $3 million in electricity bills!

Central Victoria has installed 300 residential Solar Energy Systems and this was through the subsidized buy-back rate structure. They’ve also built 2 ‘Solar Parks’ in Bendingo and Ballarat a concept that seems to be the most attractive investment amongst people who do not have north facing roof and for people who live in an apartment! They have installed over 700 solar hot water systems and estimate that they will be reducing their Green house gas emissions by 13,000 tonnes a year!

All these towns and the installations across the nation have contributed towards a tremendous growth in number of installations per month and this is a graph from the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts displaying the trend.

Another indication for Joe and Jane Tax-Payer to suggest that if you haven’t decided to install a solar energy panel on your roof, now might be a good time to think a little harder about it!

Written by Prateek Chourdia

MEngSc – Photovoltaics and Solar Energy, UNSW

Solar Energy Analyst

Solar Choice

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