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Solar Industry in Australia: Demographics

Goals

To provide demographics of Australian solar purchasers including such categories as marital status and educational level.

Early Findings

Overview

  • Australia leads the world in residential rooftop solar.
  • More than 2 million, or 21.6%, of Australian households, excluding apartments, have rooftop solar PV.
  • Residential solar application accounts for 61% of installed solar capacity in Australia.

Insights on Solar Users' Demographics in Australia

  • According to a report by the Australian PV Institute, there is higher uptake of solar in "a young family with 2 school age children, in a new development" that has "low to middle" annual income, in Queensland, South Australia, or Western Australia.
  • These and more insights are highlighted below:

Income

  • Families with low and medium incomes in the suburbs have a high solar uptake.
  • For example, in Penrith, where residents have a weekly median income of A$1,538, there is higher solar penetration than in Boroondara, where residents have a weekly median income of A$2,083.

Nature of Homes

  • Solar homes are most likely to have 3 or more bedrooms.
  • There is higher solar uptake in home-owners, not renters.
  • "Households who have moved in the last year have higher proportional solar uptake."
  • Solar uptake is low in homes for rent, apartments, and houses that are one bedroom or less, "indicative of property rights and space constraints."

Age

Family Setting

  • There is a high solar uptake for a family of 2 or more.
  • There is a high solar uptake for a young family with 2 children of school going age.

Geographic Location

  • Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia have the highest percentage of residential buildings with rooftop solar at 32.9%, 32.3%, and 26.7%, respectively.
  • Leading areas for household solar penetration include areas around Brisbane and Adelaide.


Likelihood of Solar Use/Purchase

Some insights on Australians with a higher likelihood of solar uptake include:
  • "Solar uptake is highest in inner regional areas and lowest in very remote areas, and it is approximately 5 percentage points higher in inner-regional areas compared to major cities."
  • The lower and upper-middle income ranges of A$20,800–77,999 and A$78,000–181,999 have a higher solar uptake than the highest income band of A$182,000 and above.
  • Those aged 40-60 years are less likely to purchase solar systems than those over 60 years of age.
  • "People with mortgages are more likely to have solar than those who own their homes outright, and this may also reflect debt preferences or mortgage financing of solar panels."


Summary of Findings

In this hour, we were able to provide insights on demographics for Australian solar users/buyers. We were unable to determine the level of education for typical solar users/buyers in Australia.

Proposed next steps:

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