The amount of rooftop solar PV installed in Australia is likely to fall sharply in 2013, but could be offset by renewed interest in solar hot water systems, according to one leading market analyst.
Green Energy Markets, which trades certificates generates by such systems, predicts that around 240,000 solar PV systems will be installed in Australia in 2013, with a combined capacity of 740 MW. That’s about a 24 per cent fall from last year’s total of just under 1,000MW, but it would bring the country’s cumulative total to above 3,000MW.
However, this year’s fall will be partially offset by increased investment in solar hot water systems, with GEM expecting 82,000 SHW systems to be installed in 2013, a 12 per cent rise from 2012.
For the first month of the year – although potentially skewed by holiday and weather factors – Queensland continues to be the biggest state for PV installations, as installers work through a backlog of applications that still qualify for the now defunct 44c/kWh feed in tariff. It’s estimated that some 42,000 systems that can qualify for that tariff are yet to be installed. But for the moment its dominant position in the Australian market is now receding, as this graph below illustrates.
Victoria is the second biggest state in installations in January, followed by NSW, WA and South Australia.
In other installation news around the world, the Greek operator of the electricity market, LAGIE, said the country installed 300MW of solar PV in January 2013, but most of this was larger scale ground mounted systems (282MW) and just 18MW of rooftop installations. In 2012, the country had added 890MW of new PV capacity. The latest data is triple official forecasts, but follows the announcement of lower PV tariffs to be introduced on 11 Mar. LAGIE now expects cumulative PV capacity in the main electricity system to reach 2.58GW at the end of 2013.
In Japan, the Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) said sales of solar cells in soared by 146.9 per cent in the December quarter to 1,003MW, largely due to the country’s subsidy scheme which launched in July, 2012.