Australia’s “father of PV,” UNSW Scientia Professor Martin Green has predicted that the average Australian solar household will soon be installing “tens of kilowatts” on their rooftops, probably coupled with battery storage, as panel costs continue to fall and batteries becomes more affordable.
Green, who just last week told the Smart Energy Conference in Sydney that solar module prices were headed to 10 US cents a watt by 2023, around half their current prices, believes that the lure of this “insanely cheap” energy will drive some major changes in the way consumers approach self-generation.
In an interview with Nigel Morris on this week’s episode of the new Great Solar Business podcast, Green notes that the downwards price trajectory that solar PV had taken – to which the Professor and the rest of the UNSW team have made no small contribution – had been mirrored by an upwards trajectory for rooftop solar system sizes.
This has been evident in the monthly data from industry analysts SunWiz, with the current average size of residential rooftop systems sitting at just over 8kW, compared to an average of around 6.6kW two years ago. But in Green’s own case, over the past couple of decades, the pattern is clear.
“You know, every 10 years, it seems to be I upgrade [my rooftop solar system],” Green told the podcast. “My first one was 1kW, and that cost $20,000 … back in 1999. The second one was 3kW, and that cost $20,000; that was in 2009. And now I’m looking at putting 14kW on my roof and that’s going to cost about [$20,000], too.