NORTHERN suburbs postcodes 6065 and 6030 are in the top 10 areas in WA for solar panel installations.
According to the Curtin Economics Centre, the 6065 postcode, which includes Wanneroo and surrounding suburbs, had the second highest number of installations at 7671 in 2017 behind Mandurah on 10,566.
The 6030 postcode, which includes Mindarie, Clarkson, Quinns Rocks, Merriwa and Ridgewood, ranked 10th with 4413 installations.
The centre’s latest report, Power to the People: WA’s Energy Future, examined the state of WA’s energy industry, and the key challenges, risks and policy issues facing the industry.
Centre director and report author Professor Alan Duncan said the report revealed the extent of energy poverty within the State.
“WA households are now spending an average of $1791 on energy each year, which can account for more than 10 per cent of household spending for low income families,” he said.
“While roof-top solar power is a solution for many households seeking to deal with rising electricity costs, low-income households are only one quarter as likely to have roof-top solar as those with median wealth.”
The report also found that WA has been slow in adopting large-scale renewable energy technologies, with the majority of renewable energy generated by roof-top solar installed on homes.
“While renewables only account for 7.1 per cent of WA’s total electricity consumption, total current capacity from roof-top solar as a combined power source is around 730 mega watts,” Prof Duncan said.
“That capacity is expected to reach a potential of 2000MW by 2022, making it the second largest combined power source in the State, after Muja Power Station.
“However, there is a need to revisit incentives for new solar installations, with landlords having little financial motivation to install solar on rental accommodation, and homeowners deterred by the initial upfront costs involved.”
Key findings from the report included that total energy consumption in WA had almost doubled in the past 25 years and that gas was the main source of energy at more than 50 per cent.
It found 2.1 per cent of WA’s total energy consumption was sourced from renewables, with electricity generation from renewables increasing from 2.9 to 7.1 per cent in the six years to 2014-15.
The report said one in four suitable WA dwellings had roof-top solar, but only 7.4 per cent of suitable dwellings in the lowest socio-economic areas had solar photovoltaic installations.
Professor Duncan said WA’s regulatory framework needed to be future-proofed, flexible and adaptable to different energy futures.
“Regulatory change is inevitable in order to keep pace with the rising popularity of household solar photovoltaic, and new ‘disruptive’ options for distributing and trading electricity through micro-grids,” he said.
Top solar postcodes
(Total number of installations as at 2017)
- Mandurah, 10, 566
- Wanneroo, 7671
- Canning Vale, 6659
- Jandakot, 6334
- Armadale, 6222
- Bibra Lake, 4989
- Safety Bay, 4764
- Ellenbrook, 4665
- Gosnells, 4526
- Mindarie, Clarkson, Quinns Rocks, Merriwa and Ridgewood, 4413