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Solar Will Lead Energy in 2025: Lowy Institute Poll


Sydney-based think tank, the Lowy Institute, has released the latest results of their annual poll into key issues currently facing the Australian public. In a section of the poll labelled "Climate Change and Energy", respondents were asked which technology would be creating the majority of Australia's energy by 2025. The adult proportion of the survey believe that solar will make up 43% of energy, with coal a distant second at 17%.

The reality today is that only 2% of power is produced by solar and 64% is produced by coal. This leaves solar with a lot of work to do in the next 10 years if they are to meet the public's expectations.

The Lowy Institute Poll proves valuable in gauging the difference between public perceptions on energy generation compared to the reality of what is happening in the electricity industry. Certainly, the notoriety of solar can be contributed to the high penetration of solar panels in Australia - with nearly 1-in-4 owner occupied houses having rooftop solar.

But as residential uptake of solar begins to taper off, there will be questions as to where the next push of energy transformation and public notoriety will come from. In the short-term it appears likely that the commercial solar industry sits poised to take up the slack of the residential solar market as it begins to come down from its peak.

The medium-term holds prospects of home battery storage devices and the potential for some energy users to go off-grid.

Ten years from now no-one can say with much certainty what the energy landscape will hold; realistically 43% may prove too big a stretch for solar. But ten years ago, in 2005, there was less than 1,000 solar rooftop systems, today there are nearly 1.4 million.

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