Australia’s coal and gas fired generators may complain of over-capacity in the electricity market – hence their opposition to the current renewable energy target – but that is not having an impact on Australian households, who continue to install rooftop solar at higher than expected rates.
These two graphs from Green Energy Trading provide a fascinating insight into the state of the market in Australia over the past six months.
Australian households continue to install rooftop solar at a rate of more than 15,000 households a month. That is less than half the capacity when feed in tariffs were at their peak, but it is higher than most independent experts predicted.
In June, that translated into added peak capacity of 64.8MW, with the total in the first half of 2014 being 92,045 households and 389MW of rooftop solar.
Queensland, the “Sunshine state”, remains the biggest market, accounting for one third of all installations. But what is interesting is the emergence of Victoria as the second biggest market, overtaking NSW and the once booming South Australia.
The Victoria market seems to be growing, despite complaints about connection refusals and downsizing, and higher tariffs for solar households. In Queensland, the installations have accelerated, helping prompt local network operators to decide to wave through applications – as long as the solar systems do not export back to the grid.
In South Australia, though, the market is now well below its 12 month average in the last few months, as the state’s feed in tariffs wind back.