Australia’s hotspots for solar power installation have been unveiled.

In its latest report, Melbourne based solar installation firm Solar Run has analysed publicly available data from the Clean Energy Council to calculate the number of solar power installations which are taking place in suburbs and towns across the country.

According to the report, the growing suburb of Tarneit on Melbourne’s outer south-western fringe has emerged as the nation’s biggest hotspot for solar installations.

All up, Tarneit saw the number of solar installations increase from 1,905 in 2022 to 2,177 in 2023.

This saw the outer Melbourne suburb overtake Box Hill on Sydney’s outer north-western fringe to go from second place in 2022 to first place in 2023.

The report reveals that two themes emerge when it comes to solar installation hotspots.

First, activity is most heavily concentrated in high growth suburbs on urban fringe areas of Melbourne or Sydney.

These areas are typified by large volumes of low-rise residential development.

This accounts for the presence on the top ten list of Tarneit and Werribee in Melbourne’s outer south-west, Box Hill and Kellyville in Sydney’s outer north-west and Roxburgh Park in Melbourne’s outer north.

Another focus are the sunny areas of central and southern Queensland. This accounts for the appearance of Bundaberg, Caloundra, Mackay and Maryborough on the list.

The study also found that solar installation activity picked up again in 2023 after dropping back in 2022.

Over the two-year period spanning from the second half of 2020 until around the middle of 2022, Australia witnessed an unprecedented boom in both construction of new-detached houses and spending on existing home renovations.

This was underpinned by emergency low levels of interest rates as well as generous incentives that were offered as part of COVID stimulus measures.

This led to a boom in the number of solar installations (see chart).

Subsequently, the number of solar installations dropped back in 2022 on account of the winding down of the stimulus effect and a slowing in new detached home construction.

Encouragingly, installation activity picked up again last year. This occurred despite Australia recording its lowest level in new home starts in more than a decade.

This most likely reflects an easing in home building capacity constraints and the bringing to completion of a substantial number of homes from the previous record pipeline of detached housing projects.

The report also notes that installation activity appears to be higher in the spring and summer compared with autumn and winter.

This, it notes, most likely reflects better installation conditions during the warmer months and increased sunlight leading to greater perceived values for solar panels.

(Google generated image of Tarneit in Victoria – Australia’s biggest hotspot for new solar installation)

The latest report comes as solar power has emerged as a critical part of Australia’s transition to netzero energy.

Already, rooftop solar is installed in almost one in three houses across the nation.

As part of the 2024 edition of its integrated systems plan, the Australian Energy Market Operator said that the optimal path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 across Australia includes a four-fold increase in rooftop solar and other generated solar  capacity along with a sixfold increase in large-scale solar and wind generation capacity.

Anthony Kurta, Managing Director and CEO of Solar Run, said that the report shows increasing momentum in solar power take-up across Australia.

“These findings are a testament to the growing momentum of renewable energy across Australia,” Kurta says.

“Communities are increasingly recognising the benefits of solar power, not just for the environment but also for economic resilience. Our report highlights the leaders in this green revolution and emphasises the importance of continued support and investment in clean energy.”