The solar PV power installed on Australian rooftops is capable of producing enough energy over the next year to run Melbourne’s entire train network for more than a decade, according to the Australian Clean Energy Council.

The latest figures showed more than 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar power had been installed across the country, with almost a third of this coming from Queensland alone. According to the figures, the installed solar power will produce more than 4000 GW-hours over the next 12 months.

Market analysis released by solar consultancy Sunwiz showed that more than 1.15 million Australian households have installed rooftop solar. Approximately 360,000 Queensland homes now have solar power, with NSW the next best on 252,000.

ACEC chief executive David Green said: “Household solar power gives consumers more control of their power bills by letting them generate their own electricity from the sun. And it helps to reduce the cost of our entire energy system on hot days when people everywhere have turned on their air-conditioners.”

Mr Green said working class suburbs and regional areas had led the charge to go solar, rather than the affluent areas of the major cities. “Some state governments initially provided generous support to encourage people to go solar, but these programs have all been scaled back as the cost of systems has fallen over the last five years. Currently the only support comes from the Renewable Energy Target scheme, which helps to make solar power more affordable and reduce its up-front cost for working families.” he said.