SolarChoice has released its February solar PV price index, revealing that the median price for a 5kW solar PV system this month comes in under $2 per Watt – $1.98/W – in Australia (see table below). Excluding the 2kW system data from the overall analysis, the latest data reveals a decrease in the installed cost per watt of between 6¢ and 9¢. As the rooftop solar broker points out, this means that the average price of a 5kW solar PV system has decreased by over $450, and is now averaging at less than $10,000. The average cost of a 1.5kW system has decreased by around $80.
The continuing slide in solar PV costs comes despite cuts to federal and state subsidy schemes, says SolarChoice, and possibly as a result of the increased value of STC’s, rather than a decrease in the cost of components. “When looking at the data on a month by month basis, 2kW solar system prices can be identified as being the exception to an overall trend. Excluding the 2kW data from the overall analysis, we can see that as system size increases so does the difference in price between the January and February figures.”
Sydney wins the prize for the country’s cheapest PV prices, says SolarChoice, with 3kW, 4kW and 5kW systems coming in at under $2 per watt. Melbourne and Brisbane, meanwhile, boast the most expensive systems, possibly because they get fewer STC’s, says SolarChoice, stressing that the high price in the Brisbane area cannot be blamed on Campbell Newman’s removal of the Solar Credit Scheme alone.
In other news…
Listed energy management company Energy Action Limited is ‘repositioning for growth’ after reporting an impressive net profit of $1.8 million for the six months to 31 December 2012 – a $2.3 million, 9 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period. The ASX star performer is on the lookout for a new CEO, with Valerie Duncan announcing plans to step down into a non-executive role in about a year’s time. Energy Action’s HY12 revenue was $10.3 million, up 20 per cent, with basic earnings per share at 7.15c. The company also finished the period with a cash position of $6.2 million and no debt.
A community-based anti-CSG campaign appears to have won the day in NSW, with the state government announcing a ban on all coal-seam gas mining activity within 2km of residential areas and industry clusters. The Coalition state government has also announced that the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Mary O’Kane, will review all coal seam gas activity, including the effect on water catchments, and report on any risks by July. The Greens, while welcoming the decision, have accused Premier Barry O’Farrell of duplicity on the issue of CSG mining, and of using it as a political football, to win local votes for Tony Abbott. Not surprisingly, AGL is not happy with the decision either, warning it will add to the state’s “gas supply crisis.”