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Rooftop solar set to surpass coal as Australia’s largest power generator

Canberra, March 1 (IANS) Rooftop solar is set to overtake coal as Australia’s most prominent source of power, according to a new report published on Wednesday.

The report, published by solar consultancy firm SunWiz, revealed the generation capacity of small-scale solar systems on households and business roofs has surpassed 20,000 megawatts (MW), or 20 gigawatts (GW), reports xINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

It forecast that when the 2,000 MW Liddell coal plant is closed by energy giant AGL in April, rooftop solar will become Australia’s biggest electricity source for the first time.

There are more than 3.4 million rooftop solar systems in Australia, with 300,000 being installed every year.

“When the Liddell coal-fired power station closes in April 2023, rooftop solar alone will generate more power than the remaining coal-fired power stations operating across the country, making rooftop solar the largest power generator,” Warwick Johnston, Managing Director of SunWiz, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“This is an immense amount that has been made possible due to millions of Australian households and businesses and supported by Australia’s thriving solar industry.”

In the northeastern state of Queensland, 82 per cent of dwellings deemed suitable for the technology have solar panels, more than double the world-leading national rate.

It took Australia 11 years to reach its first 10,000 MW of solar generation capacity and just four years for the second 10,000 MW, the report said.

It forecast that total installations will add 3,000 MW in 2023 and exceed 3,200 MW in 2024.

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