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Rooftop solar continues record year, even as STC price fall kicks in

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One Step Off The Grid

Another 93MW of solar PV was installed on Australian homes and business in the month of July, as booming markets in every state continue to deliver the nation’s best year to date, with a total of 568MW installed so far in 2017.

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In its latest monthly market update, solar analysts Sunwiz said the solar PV market had maintained the record-breaking momentum of the previous two months, painting a picture of “a market that is level – at exceptionally high levels.”

According to Sunwiz, this July marked the second highest ever for registrations in that month, maintaining the record solar tally for any year to date that has put the market 47 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

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The report notes that part of the reason for this sustained PV market momentum is that every state is doing so well at the same time, not least Western Australia, which is having its best ever start to the year.

Of course, one significant down-side to the booming installation market has been the sudden drop in small-scale renewable energy certificate (STC) prices – which, as we reported here, caught many PV installers off-guard and pushed up the cost of installing solar by around 10 per cent for households and small business.

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According to Sunwiz, STC prices – which last month fell from around $40 to as low as $26 – are likely to keep falling as long as the STC creation rate continues to exceed the target, “something we feel is very likely to happen,” it says.

“So expect a soft STC price that will only turn north in early 2018.”

Elsewhere, the report notes that commercial solar systems of larger than 10kW notched up record high monthly and tri-monthly figures, with 33 per cent of volume in June down to commercial installations.

In July the proportion of commercial fell slightly to 31 per cent, as the volume in the 6-10kW range expanded to 20 per cent of the market.

NSW again led the pack on commercial installs, although it was briefly overtaken by Victoria and then Queensland, “but rounded out July on top again” after Victoria stalled and then Queensland fell, the report says.

In the residential market, average rooftop solar system sizes remained steady at and average of 6.5kW, sustaining a new record.

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.  

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