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Surging Power Bills Spark Rush for Household Solar in Australia

  • Australia solar capacity additions in 2017 estimated at record
  • Solar costs for residential users fell 44 percent since 2012
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Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

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Australia, one of the world’s biggest users of rooftop solar panels, likely added the most new capacity on record last year as electricity users sought to ease escalating power bills.

A preliminary estimate by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator of 1.05 gigawatts installed last year would be a record for the country, the government body said in an emailed statement Friday. While subsidies and generous feed-in tariffs helped boost growth earlier this decade, last year’s gains were driven by users seeking to sidestep a surge in the cost of electricity and a push by vendors into the commercial sector, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.