Australian households installed more residential rooftop solar power systems last year than any other nation.
Approximately 392,500 new home solar systems were activated in 2011 according to data from the Clean Energy Regulator and the International Energy Agency.
A fact sheet released by REC Agents Association (RAA) based on data from the Clean Energy Regulator states Australians had installed nearly 1.5 million solar hot water and solar panel systems to the end of June.
As at 30 June, 2012, renewable energy certificates had been created for 753,844 solar panel systems; representing 1,671,489 kW capacity. A further 743,842 solar heat pump and solar hot water systems had been installed.
Close to 18% of all Australian families now has one or the other or both installed - 9% of households have solar electricity generation systems.
"Recognition must go to the Howard Government for having the vision to establish a world leading Renewable Energy Target, to the Rudd Government for increasing that target four-fold and to the Gillard Government for delivering on the promise of the Renewable Energy Target," says Ric Brazzale, President of RAA.
"Whilst four million Australians now have solar on their roofs, many more Australians are keen to get on board. The Renewable Energy Target must be maintained, expanded and extended over time to help deliver solar to all Australians."
Some corners of industry have called for the scrapping of the Renewable Energy Target due to the introduction of a carbon price. However, last month, Australia's Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet stated this would "fail to deliver the transformation needed in our energy sector and only increase the cost of that transformation in later years."
REC Agents Association represents businesses creating and trading in Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs); the mechanism behind Australia's Renewable Energy Target and the basis of the Solar Credits Scheme. Often referred to as a solar rebate, Solar Credits is an initiative that subsidises solar panel systems.
Story supplied by Energy Matters