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Graph of the Day: Solar PV beyond the million rooftops mark

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The Clean Energy Regulator released the latest data of solar system installations by postcode in early April and advised that more than 1 million solar PV systems have been installed and have created renewable energy certificates.

The data released relates to solar systems that have been installed and have created certificates to 5 April 2013. (As agents have 12 months from the date of installation to create certificates, the most recent month’s data is not representative of the final level of installations for the month.)

Achieving the 1 million PV system milestone was well covered by the media, however there were a number of other interesting insights that we can draw from the data. In this blog we cover some interesting insights relating to solar PV. We will follow this blog with another to focus, and share insights on the solar water heating (SWH) market.

1. The size of solar PV installations has been growing throughout 2012 across all key states. This trend seems to have been arrested in 2013 with system sizes stabilising and now starting to reduce slightly.

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Source: Green Energy Trading

2. Queensland’s market share is starting to fall after dominating installations in 2012 with 38 per cent of total installations. So far in 2013 Queensland has accounted for only 30 per cent of installs, still well above its share of total dwellings of 20 per cent. Systems that are eligible for the attractive feed-in tariff under the solar bonus scheme are still being installed and we expect that Queensland’s market share will progressively reduce over the course of 2013.

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3. Having 1 million solar PV systems installed and creating certificates amounts to 11.5 per cent of all (8.7 million) dwellings in Australia having PV. Approximately 63.7 per cent of dwellings are owner-occupied and detached or semi-detached which means that the PV saturation rate of suitable dwellings was 18 per cent. Of particular interest is that South Australia has the highest saturation rate at 30 per cent followed by Queensland at 28 per cent. The states with the largest population, NSW and Victoria, have saturation rates of 14 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

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Ric Brazzale is managing director of Green Energy Trading

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  • http://www.dudawills.com.au Ray Wills

    The states with larger populations / population densities also have a larger share of properties as strata title, and including medium and higher density housing – that is Australian average for multi-unit strata housing is 25%, average in NSW is 51%…

    Smaller numbers in NSW and Victoria may be the absence of suitable roof space directly because of the physical restriction of space in the types of buildings built in strata title construction (shared roofs).

    However, strata title properties often come with restrictive covenants that reduce tenant choices – effectively a fourth tier of government below Federal, State and Local! Thus a lower rate of uptake in NSW and Victoria might result indirectly through strata title restrictions impeding uptake.

    If the latter, some regulatory change may be required to free up the market and allow uptake.

  • heinbloed

    Congratulations to the Australiens for their determination to get things done.

    The two previous commentators mentioned physical and legal restrictions faced by city dwellers.
    There are so called mini-PV plug-and-play solutions available working on a direct consumption concept.

    http://www.minijoule.com/en/?setstore=en

    http://www.suninvention.com/index.php/en.html

    and many more.

    These plug-and-play devices are lightweight, mobile and easily installed in a DIY manner. Similar to a window box of flowers, a hanging basket, a sattelite dish.

  • Peter Campbell

    In the ACT our strata title laws were changed to cut through many of the impediments to the uptake of sustainability measures. For example, following the lead of Queensland, we cannot now have ‘rules’ (by-laws or articles) which prohibit owners undertaking sustainability measures.
    For PV systems and other measures, there are a lot potential traps that the ACT legislation now bypasses. I have detailed many of these in an article here: http://tinyurl.com/9yufydw
    In most states, receiving a feed-in tariff can interact with the main tax ruling on owners corporations to become a headache. Simply resolving at a general meeting to hold the equipment in ‘trust’ for the owners fixes this according to our OC’s tax ruling-see the linked article.
    In the ACT sustainability infrastructure can be installed on common property by a single, ordinary (simple majority) resolution so long as the proposal covers a range of points detailed in the Act (details of the site, funding, costs, benefits etc).
    Various matters need careful consideration such as whether the site of the system is within the unit/lot area or on common property and whether it is for the benefit of all owners or only one owner.
    After three general meetings and a change to the legislation our set of town houses has a PV system on a shared carport roof that puts as much into the grid during the day as we take out at night to run our extensive path and parking area lighting network.

  • http://www.energysage.com/blog EnergySage

    Wonderful to see Australia readily embracing solar! Hopefully we will see the same reaction start to happen in the US. We are a company that focuses on making the consumer process easier, while aiming to reduce the soft costs of solar.