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Australian solar PV market charts worst start to year since 2012

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January 2016 has marked the worst start to a year for solar PV growth in Australia since 2012, putting it well behind the global pace – and even behind its own depressed 2015 levels, a new report by solar analysts SunWiz has shown.

Despite falling prices, growing global momentum and strong voter support for rooftop solar in Australia, installations continue to slump, with volumes in January falling back across every significant size bracket excluding the 7-10kW range and for systems 2.5kW and less, as the chart below illustrates.

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And registrations, said the report, “were off the (wrong end of) the chart,” at a total of 47MW for the month.

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According to SunWiz – using data from SolarChoice – volumes also fell across all Australian states, with the exception of Western Australia, amounting to the worst January growth for the past few years.

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Even the commercial market had been “lackluster” in January, the report said, with a fall in volumes across every key commercial size bracket for the month, with the only consolation being a “steady volume of 50-75kW systems.  

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  • suthnsun

    I wonder if Hydro Tas is installing on every available hydro facility rooftop? (Or floating PV on dams wherever appropriate)

  • lin

    I am sure it is just a coincidence that the gentailers, with the blessing of the regulators and ably assisted by complicit state governments, are doing their best to screw anyone that installs PV.

  • Pfitzy

    Wonder how many of those potential installs are delayed because of the wait-and-see on battery systems, in light of the introduction to the market of Powerwall?

    Looking at the last graph above, there appears to be a decline in January EVERY year, compared to December, but the year-on-year doesn’t look good overall

    • Richie

      I agree totally with the first paragraph. That was my first thought too, as I am considering a second system (standalone this time) to power my EV and future AC. Maybe installers can promote “battery ready” systems more vigorously to first time PV adopters. They will still save on power bills without a battery for the time being. And remember, Powerwall is not the only battery. Redflow (“a better mousetrap”) is coming in March.

      • Pfitzy

        The Redflow stuff looks good (zinc bromine gel instead of liquid will also change that a little for smaller applications). Powerwall was a better fit for me in terms of size and location, and commercially available. But I realise as an early adopter I’ll pay the premiums. Its not all about the money though 🙂

  • Andrew Roydhouse

    I suspect much more of the decrease can be explained by the near constant reporting since mid last year of different states’ plans to try and charge people with solar panels more in the daily connection fee, reduce even further the amount paid for solar power exported to the grid, and decrease power charges for higher power consumption.

    Interesting how aligned the major political parties are? Nearly as common as the large donors to each of them.

    The Aust Electoral Funding Authority reported over $300m in ‘declared’ political donations to all levels (Fed, State & Local Govt political parties) in 2012/13.

    Or over $6m a week – we certainly do have the best politicians that money can buy.

  • Bristolboy

    Looking at this from the UK, how much of this slow down is also due to many “early adopters” having already installed systems and therefore those left less inclined to make the switch to solar? Is solar in Australia reaching “saturation” point?

    Also in the UK we had many years of electricity price rises and every time a price increase was announced solar companies saw a surge in interest. However, over the last 1-2 years electricity prices have actually fallen due to the changes in wholesale oil, gas and coal prices. If the same is true in Australia, maybe there is less incentive to switch?