Graph of the Day: Qld reaches 100MW of unsubsidised solar

A new milestone has been reached in the deployment of solar PV in Australia, with Queensland network operator Energex reaching 100MW of rooftop solar PV installations that are not subsidised by the now defunct solar bonus scheme.

Energex, which operates the network in the south-east corner of Queensland, has 630MW of rooftop solar that was installed under the 44c/kWh net tariff. That tariff came to a close a year ago, but new data shows that rooftop solar is still being installed at the rate of around 3,000 units a month, even though home owners receive just 8c/kWh or nothing at all for exports back into the grid.

The sum total of these installations now exceeds 100MW. The total amount of rooftop solar installed in Queensland is now more than 1GW, with Ergon Energy having installed 255MW until June 30.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 12.15.09 PMNetwork operators have been  surprised by the take-up of unsubsidised rooftop solar, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia. In WA, government authorities had anticipated up to 2,000 installations a month, but the actual installed rate has been more than 2,800. In Queensland, they are being installed at a similar rate.

The cost of the 44c/kWh tariff was around $16 million in the month of September, but another interesting piece of data showed that the number of households receiving the tariff fell for the first time. That’s because the number of new connections (those that applied for the tariff but are only now installing) totalled just 309 in September (compared to more than 8,000 a year ago), while 712 homes lost the tariff because either their system was upgraded or the house was sold (the tariff is not transferable to a new owner).

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