South Australians Turn to Solar Post Blackout - Solar Citizens

South Australians Turn to Solar Post Blackout

Solar PV installations surged at the end of last year following the statewide blackout with South Australians investing approximately 22.6 million dollars in rooftop solar from October to December last year according to new analysis of Clean Energy Regulator data by Solar Citizens.

Monthly solar installation rates jumped 17.65 per cent from October till December compared to installation rates from January till September. Installations from July till December 2016 jumped 21 per cent compared to the first six months of the year, which corresponds with price spikes experienced in South Australia in July. Since July 6,424 solar systems were installed taking South Australia to 205,068 solar systems installed across the state.

“South Australians are sending a clear message with their wallets that they see clean solar power as a key part of the solution to rising energy costs and power security while tackling climate change,” Dan Spencer, South Australia campaigner at Solar Citizens said.

“While politicians attacked South Australia’s clean energy leadership, South Australians took action at home, investing 22 million dollars of their own money into making our power cleaner and cheaper at a higher installation rate than before the September blackout,” Mr Spencer said.

“With solar and storage becoming cheaper and more affordable every day it’s no surprise that ordinary South Australians have looked to clean energy while South Australia’s power has been in the headlines.”

The top five suburbs for solar installation since the blackout were located in regional or outer suburban areas with incomes below the South Australian average according to Australian Tax Office data. The regional suburb of Waitpinga led the way followed closely by Smithfield Plains, Salisbury North, Angas Plains and Morphett Vale. This closely mirrors South Australia’s leading suburbs for total solar installations where three out of five suburbs have below average incomes and the suburbs of Aberfoyle Park and Sheidow Park sit just above the average income.

“Whether it’s in Salisbury or regional SA, South Australians are looking to solar for their power showing just how mainstream renewable energy has become in South Australia. South Australians from all walks of life are doing their bit to bring power bills down with clean energy, it’s time the Federal Government did the same,” Mr Spencer said.

The suburbs of Waitpinga, Smithfield Plains, Salisbury North, Angas Plains and Morphett Vale cut across both Liberal and Labor state electorates as well as the federal seat of Mayo held by the Nick Xenophon Team.

“The fact that South Australians are turning to solar power in increasing numbers sends a clear message to all political parties that South Australians want to see investment in clean solutions for our power, not the misleading and ideologically-driven attacks on renewable energy they’ve seen in recent weeks and months. There couldn’t be a clearer opinion poll than South Australians rolling up their sleeves and investing $22 million in clean energy,” he said.

Solar Citizens say with the costs of batteries continuing to fall South Australia’s 205,068 solar homes and businesses are perfectly placed to be a part of securing South Australia’s clean power supply with storage.

“Over 200,000 homes and businesses have now gone solar in SA and with batteries dropping in price South Australia can be powered with a mix of home solar and storage and the large renewable projects like solar thermal in Port Augusta, large scale battery storage and pumped hydro that are ready and waiting to be built in our state” Mr Spencer said.

Top stats:

  • South Australians invested approximately $22.6 million installing solar panels between October and December 2016 following the state’s September blackout and approximately $80.5 million across the 2016 calendar year (based on the average cost of a 5kW system in South Australia).
  • The top five solar installation suburbs after the September blackout in 2016 all had 2013/14 average incomes below the state average according to the Australian Tax Office.
  • Monthly installation rates of solar panels increased 17.5 percent from October till December 2016 compared installation rates before the September blackout.
  • Installation rates were up 21 percent between July and December 2016 compared to the first half of 2016 (January-June 2016).
  • 3,304 solar systems were installed in South Australia between October and December 2016, 6,424 systems were installed from July to December and 11,729 systems installed across 2016. South Australia now has 205,068 small scale solar systems installed across the state.

Top 5 suburbs for solar installation between October and December 2016

  • Waitpinga - average taxable income $40,045
  • Smithfield Plains - average taxable income $46,003
  • Salisbury North - average taxable income $42,297
  • Angas Plains - average taxable income $44,105
  • Morphett Vale - average taxable income $43,850

Top 5 suburbs by total solar installations in South Australia

  • Morphett Vale - average taxable income $43,850
  • Aberfoyle Park - average taxable income $50,243
  • Salisbury North - average taxable income $42,297
  • Sheidow Park - average taxable income $49,059
  • Smithfield Plains - average taxable income $46,003

Based on Australian Tax Office 2013/14 data, South Australia’s average taxable income in South Australia was $48,658.

Solar installation data from Clean Energy Regulator, 2017.

A full spreadsheet of the data is available here.

For media inquiries: Dan Spencer 0423 865 632