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Mixed Greens: Aust solar PV falls below $2/W

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SolarChoice has released its February solar PV price index, revealing that the median price for a 5kW solar PV system this month comes in under $2 per Watt – $1.98/W – in Australia (see table below). Excluding the 2kW system data from the overall analysis, the latest data reveals a decrease in the installed cost per watt of between 6¢ and 9¢. As the rooftop solar broker points out, this means that the average price of a 5kW solar PV system has decreased by over $450, and is now averaging at less than $10,000. The average cost of a 1.5kW system has decreased by around $80.

The continuing slide in solar PV costs comes despite cuts to federal and state subsidy schemes, says SolarChoice, and possibly as a result of the increased value of STC’s, rather than a decrease in the cost of components. “When looking at the data on a month by month basis, 2kW solar system prices can be identified as being the exception to an overall trend. Excluding the 2kW data from the overall analysis, we can see that as system size increases so does the difference in price between the January and February figures.”

Sydney wins the prize for the country’s cheapest PV prices, says SolarChoice, with 3kW, 4kW and 5kW systems coming in at under $2 per watt. Melbourne and Brisbane, meanwhile, boast the most expensive systems, possibly because they get fewer STC’s, says SolarChoice, stressing that the high price in the Brisbane area cannot be blamed on Campbell Newman’s removal of the Solar Credit Scheme alone.

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Source: Solar Choice Price Index – February 2013

In other news…

Listed energy management company Energy Action Limited is ‘repositioning for growth’ after reporting an impressive net profit of $1.8 million for the six months to 31 December 2012 – a $2.3 million, 9 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period. The ASX star performer is on the lookout for a new CEO, with Valerie Duncan announcing plans to step down into a non-executive role in about a year’s time. Energy Action’s HY12 revenue was $10.3 million, up 20 per cent, with basic earnings per share at 7.15c. The company also finished the period with a cash position of $6.2 million and no debt.

A community-based anti-CSG campaign appears to have won the day in NSW, with the state government announcing a ban on all coal-seam gas mining activity within 2km of residential areas and industry clusters. The Coalition state government has also announced that the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Mary O’Kane, will review all coal seam gas activity, including the effect on water catchments, and report on any risks by July. The Greens, while welcoming the decision, have accused Premier Barry O’Farrell of duplicity on the issue of CSG mining, and of using it as a political football, to win local votes for Tony Abbott. Not surprisingly, AGL is not happy with the decision either, warning it will add to the state’s “gas supply crisis.”

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  • Paul

    And these are retail prices, DIY Wholesale is closer to $1.00/watt!

  • Paul

    $1.00/watt… BEFORE STC discount!

  • Karlos

    I wonder how much of the product sold is crap….

    • http://airskywind.com Ian

      A bigger issue is the quality and design of the installation. Good components do not necessarily make for a good installation

  • Sunstar72

    The race to the bottom

  • Sunstar72

    When will the industry stop advocating PRICE PRICE PRICE.
    Thanks solar choice / sunwiz for driving the price lower and lower. What will be the long term cost to our industries reputation? Will anyone be around to clean up this mess?

  • http://www.solarchoice.net.au solarchoice

    The system prices used to make up the Solar Choice PV Price Index come from a range of installers, many of whom offer both a ‘standard’ and a premium product package. Products come from Europe, Asia and Australia.

    Low cost Chinese products that flooded the market have reduced the cost of solar at an unnatural rate, however, the cost of solar would naturally drop as a result of Federal and State incentives driving uptake. We’re proud to have helped over 55,000 Australians make a well informed choice, as well as being involved in some of the countries biggest commercial solar products.

    The full article can be found on our website: http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/solar-choice-price-index-february-2013/