Rooftop solar saved Queenslanders $60m in a month

Rooftop solar in Queensland provided $60 million worth of free electricity to the grid in one month, according to a report from the Queensland Conservation Council and Solar Citizens.

Jul 07, 2022, updated Jul 07, 2022
Kangaroo Point resident Paul Murdoch has saved thousands with solar power

Kangaroo Point resident Paul Murdoch has saved thousands with solar power

The report said there were now 870,000 homes and businesses in Queensland with solar panels and without them and the large-scale solar farms wholesale electricity prices would have been 9 per cent higher in May.

“If solar energy produced from rooftop generators received wholesale prices, it would have received $223 per megawatt hour for a total of $104 million whereas retailers likely paid around $43 million for feed-in tariffs.

The groups said the success of solar meant the State Government should allow for another 6000 megawatts of new renewable energy and 1000 megawatts of storage by 2025.

It should also create a pathway for Queensland to become at least 100 per cent renewable by 2030.

The State Government has an energy plan due to be released in September which is expected to increase its ambitions on CO2 emission reductions which are now below those of the new Federal Government. The Government has also outlined plans for a significant increase in pumped hydro, a form of energy storage.

The plan is expected to come with a huge price tag.

QCC energy strategist Clare Silcock said the sky-high wholesale electricity prices were being driven by the high costs of coal and gas.

“Queensland only gets about 20 per cent of our electricity from affordable renewable sources and that’s got to drastically shift if the Sunshine State is going to get on top of high electricity prices,” she said.

Solar Citizens deputy director Stephanie Gray said there were immediate things the Queensland Government could do to help bring down prices for vulnerable households, including rolling out more battery storage to maximise the benefits of cheap renewable energy for everyone, while helping renters and social housing tenants access rooftop solar.

“Queenslanders have turned to solar in droves to slash their electricity bills and in the process they’re driving down the wholesale prices for everyone,” Gray said.

“Unfortunately, that community action is not enough to overcome years of government inaction to plan for the transformation of our energy system.”

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The two groups used the example of Kangaroo Point resident Paul Murdoch who installed a 13 kilowatt solar system along with a 10 kWh battery and has reduced his $2000 a year energy bill to zero.

He also uses the system to recharge his electric vehicle which saved another $2000 to $3000 a year.

However, he said it was important people were not left behind, particularly renters.






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