​Australia generating enough solar to power capital cities

There is now 5GW of solar power installed across the country, making up 9% of total electricity generation

The number of Australians generating solar energy has grown considerably, resulting in enough power from the sun to light all homes in Brisbane and Perth combined.

According to industry analysis from consultancy firm SunWiz, there is now 5 gigawatts (GW) of solar power installed across the country, with Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria leading the charge.

By analysing the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry, SunWiz determined that Qld is generating 1.4 million kilowatts (kW) of solar energy annually, NSW is generating around 1.2 million kW, and Victoria almost 900,000 kW.

With around 5GW all up, Australia is generating enough solar power to light up 1.25 million households – which is the same number of homes in Brisbane and Perth combined, according to the latest housing figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

By comparison, 774 megawatts (MW) of new wind power was connected to the national energy market last year, while 1300MW of coal power was decommissioned in 2015.

According to SunWiz managing director, Warwick Johnston, solar power now makes up 9% of Australia’s total electricity generation capacity (of 56GW). Last year, more solar power was added to the system than any other fuel source (913 megawatts).

Mr Johnson said solar power output is expected to keep growing in 2016 but not at the same rapid rate.

"Last year, the Australian solar industry grew overall, but this was primarily due to large-scale solar power stations coming online. Other major solar projects are in the pipeline but unlikely to be built until 2017 and onwards."