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Solar power in Australia

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Solar power in Australia is a fast growing industry. As of December 2020, Australia’s over 2.66 million solar PV installations had a combined capacity of 20,198 MW photovoltaic (PV) solar power,[1] of which at least 4,426 MW were installed in the preceding 12 months. In 2019, 59 solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 2,881 MW were either under construction, constructed or due to start construction having reached financial closure.[2][3] Solar accounted for 5.2% (or 11.7 TWh) of Australia’s total electrical energy production (227.8 TWh) in 2018.[2]

The sudden rise in Solar PV installations in Australia since 2018 dramatically propelled the country from being considered a relative laggard to a strong contender in Solar PV development by mid 2019. With an installed photovoltaic capacity of 16.3 GW at the end of 2019, Australia has the highest per capita solar capacity at 600 watts per capita, overtaking Germany with 580 watts per capita.[4]

The installed PV capacity in Australia increased 10-fold between 2009 and 2011, and quadrupled between 2011 and 2016. The first commercial-scale PV power plant, the 1 MW Uterne Solar Power Station, was opened in 2011.[5] Greenough River Solar Farm opened in 2012 with a capacity of 10 MW.[6] The price of photovoltaics has been decreasing, and in January 2013, was less than half the cost of using grid electricity in Australia.[7]

Over 90% of solar panels in Australia are made in China.[8]