Oz PV forecast upgraded, as world heads for new record | RenewEconomy

Oz PV forecast upgraded, as world heads for new record

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Solar PV installs for Australia upgraded on Queensland rush, as world head for record deployment in second half of 2012. Change of tariff in Victoria?

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Forecasts for the amount of rooftop solar PV to be installed in Australia in 2012 have been upgraded, although it will fall short of the record year in 2011, when Australia led the world in the installation of small rooftop systems.

Green Energy Markets, which tracks the rate of solar installations through the amount of renewable energy certificates produced, has upgraded its forecasts for rooftop PV in Australia to 787MW. This compares to its previous forecast of 736MW, and the 863MW installed in 2011.

The change was made after a re-assessment of the likely level systems installed in Queensland after the announcement of the reduction in Queensland’s 44 cent feed-in tariff. That announcement caused a huge rush of applications. GEM expects around 100,000 systems to be installed in that state of 2012/13 – around 37 per cent of total installations.

The company now expects 322,000 PV systems will be installed in 2012 (up from 306,000 previously), with the average system size also growing to 2.44 kW from 2.41kW (and 1.34kW in 2009). But it also suggested that the Victorian market could be headed for an imminent change in tariff, as the state is poised to break its cap of 75MW on the current 25c/kWh rate.

Interestingly, the number of solar hot water systems continues to fall, with around 80,000 expected in 2012, down 17 per cent from 2011 and just 40 per cent of the rate in 2009.

Meanwhile, the world’s three biggest solar PV markets in 2012 are expected to be Germany, the US and Japan, according to latest research by IMS. It said growth in the Chinese, Japanese and the US market would underpin a new six-month record installation of 18GW in the second half of 2012.

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  1. Tim Buckley 8 years ago

    This week in China ReneSola reported their average selling price per module fell 10% quarter on quarter to US$0.73/watt in the June 2012 quarter. ReneSola management went on to warn than module prices would likely drop another 10% in the third quarter of 2012 to US$0.65/w. GCL Poly and Trina Solar both reported similar trends, with the only real joy in this being that poly silicon production and other manufacturing costs of solar modules are falling almost as fast in 2012 as selling prices. With module prices down 40% year on year, and still falling at 10% per quarter, the Australian solar market is already below retail grid parity without any subsidy. Few expected this amazing technology innovation to combine with powerful economies of scale to allow this rate of cost reduction to be sustained. Certainly not the White Paper on Australia’s energy market.
    If only the electricity regulator could work with this emerging and unstoppable energy market paradigm shift, Australia could accelerate our economy towards a low carbon future, save on billions of dollars of unnecessary legacy grid network upgrades and allow the delivery of sustainably lower real retail electricity prices to Australian customers. The problem with all this? The retail electricity oligopoly would make less money from Australian taxpayers!
    Giles – further to the IMS forecast you quote, the big shift globally in solar is the move from an industry will an almost totally EU focus in 2010-2011 (namely Germany and Italy) to one in 2012/13 where the EU is competing with America, China and Japan in the race to see who can install the most solar. Chile, India, Saudi Arabia and South Africa are likewise starting a massive push into solar next year. While 2011 saw global solar installs growth of 47% to 27 GW; 2012 will see a further 10-20% volume growth to 30-33 GW, despite the financial gloom. With prices down another 40% in 2012, who knows how strong the volume growth for solar will be in 2013? We at Arkx think 36-40 GW is easily achievable. Cheers Tim

  2. David Hamilton 8 years ago

    While the continuing cost reductions for PV are wonderful, I am concerned by falling numbers in solar hot water (SHW) installations. SHW is a great example of an appropriate technology – low grade heat is needed, and low grade heat is collected without intermediate steps. There is no need for a separate energy store with SHW, as a tank full of hot water is its own energy store. Installation of SHW should be a no-brainer, but it is not.

    The current problem with SHW, I am convinced, is price. Even though SHW is much simpler technology than PV, while PV has come down in price, SHW has gone up. This merits proper investigation, and, if needed, market intervention.

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