Solar heroes from the ‘burbs


Australian households are harnessing solar power at a never-before-seen rate and this energy revolution is being led in suburbs and towns like Dubbo and Campbelltown in NSW, Bundaberg in Queensland, Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne, and Mandurah in Western Australia. In 2007 just 8,000 Aussie rooftops sported photovoltaic (PV) solar panels but this year we actually hit the 1 million rooftop mark.

Tim Flannery, the Panasonic chair in Environmental Sustainability at Macquarie University and the chief commissioner at the Climate Commission, said the increase is being driven by ordinary Australians looking to decrease the energy bill.

“It is the modest outer metropolitan suburbs across the country, with high concentrations of mortgages, which show the greatest uptake,” Tim said.

“The cost of installing a PV panel today is less than a quarter of what it was in 2002. The decision to install solar panels is no longer just about global responsibility – it makes financial sense.”

Tim also noted that the solar revolution is capturing the interest of small investors.

“Smart investors are realising that this trend is here to stay and that the future of energy is renewable. Just last week, AGL announced it is going ahead with a solar power station four times the size of Sydney CBD. This project is 15 times larger than any other solar power station in Australia and will become the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.”

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