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How much rooftop solar can be installed in Australia?

Exploring Australia’s 179 GW rooftop solar potential

This report explores Australia’s potential for rooftop solar – providing estimates of both the nation’s available roof space, and our solar potential. It concludes that Australia is currently only using five per cent of available roof space and has the potential of 179 gigawatts with an annual energy output of 245 terawatt-hours.

About this report

How much rooftop solar can be installed in Australia?

June 2019

How much rooftop solar can be installed in Australia? was developed by the CEFC and Property Council of Australia.

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Australia is a world leader in solar energy, driven primarily by household rooftop installations. However, there is enormous untapped potential in the use of commercial and residential rooftops across the country. We’re supporting the uptake of rooftop solar both indirectly, via our asset finance programs, and directly, working with organisations to increase their clean energy access.

about the industry

Solar market drivers

  • More than two million solar systems have been installed around Australia, mostly on the roofs of homes. However, rooftop solar is only just starting to take off on industrial and commercial sites.

report findings

Market potential

  • Using two path-breaking datasets, this study provides the first estimate for how much rooftop solar could be installed in Australia: a top-down estimate of available roof space using data which maps all buildings in Australia and a bottom-up estimate of solar potential which includes a range of constraints on the available rooftop space for solar (e.g. shading, orientation).
  • Australia’s estimated total potential for rooftop solar is 179 gigawatts with an annual energy output of 245 terawatt-hours – exceeding current electricity consumption on the main grids in Australia.
  • Around half of the unused potential for rooftop solar is in residential zones (96 GW).
  • While most would think of dense urban centres in capital cities for rooftop solar, the second largest potential (34 GW) is in primary / rural production zones, covering a large range of land use ranging from agriculture, forestry, horticulture and mining to residential and industrial buffer zones.
  • Commercial and industrial zones together have the potential for 28 GW of rooftop solar.
Last updated June 2019. Housing, Solar, Property, Market reports
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