Explaining Spatial Variation in Small-Scale Solar Uptake Across Australia
Australia is a world-leader in terms of uptake of small-scale solar photovoltaic systems. This seminar will present research on factors influencing uptake of small-scale solar systems across both postcodes and households in Australia. The impact of Australia’s spatially-differentiated Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) will be examined, with the results showing that postcodes that receive a higher subsidy factor under the SRES have significantly more small-scale solar installations. We calculate that an increase in the subsidy flowing to new installations under the SRES would be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a subsidy cost of around US$36 per tonne. Renters and apartment-dwellers are much less likely to install solar panels, and postcodes with higher shares of middle-income households and mortgage holders tend to have more solar PV installations. The findings are useful for informing policy design and grid management planning in Australia, and understanding how uptake of small-scale solar may proceed in other countries.
This research is co-authored with Rohan Best (Macquarie University) and Shuhei Nishitateno (Kwansei Gakuin University).
This seminar is part of a series of Energy Transition Hubevents supported by the Victorian Clean Technology Fund (VCTF).
Paul Burke is an Associate Professor at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. Paul’s research focuses on energy, the environment, transport, and the economies of the Asia-Pacific. He has been a frequent contributor to discussions on climate policy in Australia, and has published in journals including American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Economic Inquiry, Nature Geoscience, Nature Climate Change, and Global Environmental Change. Paul is co-leading research into policy frameworks for clean energy under the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub.