Australia installs 1GW of rooftop solar since July 2013

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The installation of rooftop solar jumped in the September quarter as Australian households and businesses reacted to uncertainty about the future of the renewable energy target.

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Australian households and businesses have installed more than 1GW of rooftop solar since July, 2013, with the rate of installations growing in the last few months due to uncertainty about the future of the renewable energy target.

Data released by Green Energy Markets shows that in the past 14 months, more than 1,020MW of rooftop solar has been installed across the country, with Queensland the biggest market, followed by Victoria, NSW and South Australia.

Interestingly, the last two states are the biggest installers of commercial-scale rooftop solar, meaning their businesses are particularly active in this sector – and because of low export tariffs, they are consuming most of the output of these systems, and using them to reduce their consumption from the grid as much as possible.

(Note: This data only collected installations under the SRES, or small scale part of the RET. Larger systems of more than 100kW, even though they are installed on the roof, come under the large scale RET – although some businesses put systems of more than 100kW and then claim the rebate for less than 100kW as its less of a hassle)

GET sola statsGreen Energy Markets has also lifted its forecast installation for rooftop solar PV in 2014 by 7.5 per cent above its previous forecast. It now expects 785MW of rooftop solar will be installed in calendar 2014, with 181,000 solar PV systems installed across the country at an average size of 4.35 per cent.

It bases these upgrades on a recent surge in interest, probably caused by fears that the upfront incentives – in the form of certificates – would be removed or wound back. It seems that Brian Fisher, one of the Warburton Review panelists that recommended the subsidy be terminated, was not the only one keen to install a system before the government acted on his recommendation.

As we reported last week, Fisher installed a system of more than 4kW on a farming property near Canberra. Despite recommending that the subsidy be ended, he saw no problem availing himself of the discount while it existed. According to Green Energy Markets, some 47,100 rooftop solar PV systems were installed in the September quarter, an increase of 5 per cent that was likely driven by fears that the subsidy could soon end.

 

 

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6 Comments
  1. Rob G 5 years ago

    The RET uncertainty caused by Abbott and his cohorts seems to have accelerated the rooftop solar uptake. Talk about a plan backfiring!

    • Chris Drongers 5 years ago

      Hopefully the washup of the current negotiations over the RET will result in greater accessibility for commercial (10kW-1MW) systems onto the distribution network. Really, isn’t this the equivalent of a user just removing the equivalent loads from the system? As time goes on and the parts of the distribution system are repaired/replaced in the normal course of events, the replacement structures will be able to accommodate exports when the premises don’t use it, such as on weekends.
      As PV gets cheaper and cheaper the medium scale systems will become more common and the challenge to conventional generation, enjoying the support of the Wharburton review, will be greater.

      • john 5 years ago

        It is easy to kill commercial just charge a demand rate per day and very low KwH charge at say 10c KwH the supplier is covered by the charge per day.

  2. john 5 years ago

    Note to Tony get rid of this Solar stuff it is causing real pain to the generators

    • Margaret 5 years ago

      Tony hasn’t supported a winner yet. Doubt he would start with renewable energy. That said, it is incredibly short sighted of Abott to reward poor business practice of the generators clinging on to fossil fuels.

      • john 5 years ago

        True
        Tony does not really have a clue about the Small Energy players.
        The problem is Margaret that renewable energy has cut the cost to householders by about 5c a KwH and cost about 5C a Kwh however the long term view and just looking at figures atm it is going lower so the benefit to householder is even more.
        If energy is zero then the longer we go the cheaper it gets.
        There is another input into this and that is the use of storage.
        Now this area has a heap load of investment going into it why ?
        Because there are billions of people out there that are the potential buyers believe me this is becoming very much on the radar of people with half a brain.
        I think we do have a bit of a problem because the cost benefit is being mixed with a political exercise not very helpful

        Note:- The saving is to all users not the users who paid out the 1.2 Billion to do this

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