South Australia’s Solar Capital: Grey Army Driving Solar Boom

We’ve all heard about South Australia’s leading position when it comes to wind energy. In the March 2012 quarter, wind energy produced 31 per cent of the state’s electricity needs—helping the sector surpass coal generation and provide reliable carbon-free electricity to South Australians.

The future of South Australia’s solar sector is just as bright. And it seems South Australian retirees are ahead of the curve seising the opportunity. Here’s The Adelaide Advertiser with a nice little story about the grey army who have made the Fleurieu Peninsula South Australia’s ‘solar capital’:

‘Welcome to the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia’s solar capital,’ August 27.

ONE of our greyest areas is also one of our greenest, as retirees rush to install solar panels and beat power price rises.

The Fleurieu Peninsula is the state’s solar capital. Almost a third of all homes (31 per cent) in Port Elliot have panels. In Victor Harbor, Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island it’s almost a quarter (24 per cent). That’s almost 4000 homes with solar panels.

And the pace of installations has not slowed, with as many as 12 going in each day.

Victor Harbor Council has been instrumental in the conversion, arranging group discounts with Zen Home Energy.

In 2009, City of Victor Harbor’s Roy Ramage warned the council traditional energy suppliers would “double and treble power costs over the next three years.” He also predicted more costs would be passed on to ratepayers when emission trading schemes were introduced.

He proposed an alternative, renewable energy in the form of solar power.

The scheme has spread right across the Fleurieu Peninsula because Victor Harbor encouraged neighbouring councils to get in on the deal.

“I’m hoping it makes my little community more resilient,” he said. “I know they have more money in their pockets now.”

At Rosetta Village, in Encounter Bay, retired couple Rosemary Horst, 68, and husband Kuske, 72, were among residents who challenged village management in court and won the right to install solar panels.

“We all should have rainwater tanks and solar panels,” Mrs Horst said.

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