Record half year for rooftop solar after another bumper month | RenewEconomy

Record half year for rooftop solar after another bumper month

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Australia records highest installation rate for rooftop solar in six months to June, as homes and businesses prepare for soaring grid charges.

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sunwiz june

Australia has enjoyed another bumper month for rooftop solar installations, with 93MW installed on homes and businesses in June, taking the total for the six months to June to a record 475MW.

This tally is higher than the peak of the premium-feed-in tariffs in 2012 and 2013, and indicates a growing realisation that one great option to deal with the cost of the fossil-fuel dominated grid is to install rooftop solar.

The new statistics, released by industry analyst Sunwiz, follow a new report released last week that showed that the average uptake of rooftop solar in Australia had now reached 25 per cent, and above 31 per cent in Queensland and South Australia.

The Sunwiz data shows that Australia now has 5.83GW of rooftop solar installed on 1.71 million homes and businesses. Queensland leads the way with 1.77GW – bigger in capacity than the state’s largest coal fired generator.

sunwiz commercial

Businesses are the biggest mover in the uptake of rooftop solar – possibly because they are being hit with even bigger rises in electricity bills, and accounted for a record 33 per cent of installations in the last month, and more than 40 per cent of installations in states likes South Australia. Much of these were in the 50kW to 100kW ranges.

Sunwiz director Warwick Johnston says June was the best single month since 2012, when the solar multipliers were winding back and some feed-in tariffs were about to end.

“And this is even before people receive their first electricity bill which is likely to be 10-30 per cent higher – suggesting the pace won’t let up in the second half,” Johnston says.

sunwiz solar

Of the individual states, Queensland still led the way, although NSW had its highest month since mid 2011, and it was a record month for the Northern Territory. Western Australia is poised to overtake South Australia in the next month if current rates of installation continue.


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  1. George Darroch 3 years ago

    At this rate we’ll be well above 6.5GW of rooftop by the end of summer. Installation capacity might be a constraint.

    That uptake of commercial systems is something to behold.

    • Ian 3 years ago

      It looks like there needs to be another round of network spending then…. to enable the rest of the roofs to be filled for existing pv owners.+ the remaining chunk of future installations on non existing pv roofs.

  2. JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

    Meanwhile I know people in NSW who are not repairing there solar systems and they are off the NSW grid as with 6c per kw feed – they no longer want to subsides the NSW electricity providers.

    • neroden 3 years ago

      Do tell. Are they buying batteries to go totally off the grid and stop paying the electricity providers entirely?

      • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

        No the systems are not longer commissioned as its not worth fixing them to get 6c a kw.

        • trackdaze 3 years ago

          So they would prefer to pay retail?

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Using not my figures:

            qtr ending May 2017 the Solar panels made $15.73 in Sydney.

            So it looks like that for the year the panels will not make $100.

            So when they broke, the repair was quoted as $1500 – not viable to repair.

            So yes play retail.

          • trackdaze 3 years ago

            Obviously if they were repaired they would make more, year after year.

            Here i was thinking most panels have decade long or more warranties.

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            not at 6c

          • juxx0r 3 years ago

            You are not making any sense.

            $15.73 is just under 3kWh/day at 6 cents.

            That puts the system at 750W of excess.

            even a 2kW system would then be providing 5kWh/day, worth 25c/kWh, or another 112.50 a quarter, total of 128.23 a quarter.

            Which gives an NPV over ten years of $1788, and an IRR of 51%.

            Clearly the people you know aren’t very mathematically minded.

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Export kWh: 260.57 @ 6 c/kWh = $15.63

            Origin Energy – for 3 months: Mar, Apr, May 2017

            This is not theory, this is what happens when you have 5-6 weeks of continuous rain and no direct sunlight.

          • juxx0r 3 years ago

            Yep, same number i calculated.

            If you like, i’ll lend your friends the $1500 at 25% interest rate and they and I will still make damn good money.

          • trackdaze 3 years ago

            Thought they were broken?

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Broke down in June and will not be fixed.

          • juxx0r 3 years ago

            Maybe they could ask their friendly solar installer how solar works. Or they could wonder why their bill went up by a lot more than $15.

          • trackdaze 3 years ago

            Calling bs

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Call it what you want!

            However, when you use to get 60c feed in tariff and it goes to 6c – the panels are making 10% of what they were getting before in NSW.

            So, a system that made $1500 a year before is now returning $150 credit.

            The reality is: if it fails, no one will repair them as there is no payback return!

          • trackdaze 3 years ago


          • trackdaze 3 years ago

            Google a better deal 12cents easy.

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago


            Spend $1500 to repair Solar system to get $30 instead of $15 a qtr

          • trackdaze 3 years ago

            Its not my fault they brought a presumably crappy system and didnt monitor it.

            Over 93 days part of which was summer they were exporting half of what a typical 1kw system would in tasmania on a gross meter.

          • trackdaze 3 years ago

            Thats all a massive generator get per kw. Easy enough to get much better 12-15c.

            besides if you use it you havent paid retail.

        • Ian 3 years ago

          You make a good point, premature failure of the system can make this costly. An investment like solar should pay for itself in 5 years or it’s an expensive covering on the roof. Fortunately these things do pay for themselves in this time frame. $1/watt installation. Average 5KWH /Kw each day @27c/kWh import for 300d/year . that’s $400/year per KW installed. If all power was exported earnings would be $90/year/KWH- Obviously you would need to export as little as possible and off set consumption as much as possible to make solar viable. You would also need to size the solar system to match daytime electricity consumption. For singles and couples who commute to work and consume very little electricity in the day, this may not be worth while. Shifting loads to the day like hot water heating may help the economics for those people, battery storage would also time shift solar energy to a better time. What’s the economics of that? $1000/KWH 27-6 c/KWH 300days sunshine a year = 16 years to pay off the storage. Bummer

    • Bill Mastrippolito 3 years ago

      Your friends are obviously not taking into account how much solar electricity their house consumes before the excess is exported. What they consume is saving them 27 cents per kilowatt as that is what they would have paid to buy that amount. Then add that to what they get for feeding their excess into the grid.

      • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

        Excess? We don’t have smart meters – so all solar is exported!

        • Bill Mastrippolito 3 years ago

          Rubbish, you self consume first and only the excess is exported. If it is not that way the installer has installed it incorrectly. Compare how much the solar has generated againsts how much is exported

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Only when your mind cannot fathom what is really going on.

            NSW – Origin has not rolled out smart meters as millions of homes are on the waiting list.

            So all Solar is to the grid at 6c

          • Bill Mastrippolito 3 years ago

            Just looked at the bill you showed and if your system fed all into the grid and it only exported 260 kWh, your system is/was underperforming really badly. My 1.5kw system after my house used the first bit still managed to export 442kWh from mar-jun which is even shorter daylight hours than in your billing period. Once you get your meter changed over from GROSS to a NET meter, then it would be worth your while to consult a REPUTABLE solar installer and insist on getting a quality invertor installed, I’d recommend a German made Sunnyboy installed away from direct sunlight to ensure it will run for years. If you were on the 60 cent feed-in tariff, your system should have already paid for itself.

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Where are you located?

            Its under performing as: When you have 5-6 weeks of continuous rain and no direct sunlight that equates to almost half the billing period.

            While it was raining, if I had a Powerwall there would of not be enough sun light to charge it.

            I know this is a extreme case but they do happen and if all of Sydney was setup with Solar and batteries it would of been a huge spike in demand to the NEM to cover it.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            JoeR you are a little off base in your comments. Yes the NSW FiT of 60cents with a ‘Gross Meter’ finished on 1 Jan 2017. You don’t need a smart meter at all. You only need to change the ‘Gross Meter’ to a ‘Net Meter’. You then self consume before anything is exported to Grid. The FiT’s have gone up from 1 July…just hunt around…as example, Energy Australia is now paying 12.5cents FiT.

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            Thanks, I will look into Net metering.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            You are welcome. Check with your electricity retailer and ask why you still have a Gross meter as they are the ones that should have organised a Net meter in the lead up to 1 Jan 2017 when the Gross FiT scheme finished. Also suitably accredited electricians can do the job of swapping over a Gross meter to a Net meter.

          • David Mitchell 3 years ago

            Actually, NSW 60c FIT was only if you installed a gross meter. So all electricity exported on a separate meter to the house supply. I would expect that many of these installations are now getting the main board rewired and running the solar though the house supply meter. But if there is a backlog, then….

  3. Daniel Ball 3 years ago

    Assuming the first graph registered all solar systems installed and the second graph only recorded systems under 100kWp, the MW difference would suggest for the same period that 70% of system installed were over 100kWp? In which case what is the average lag time of these system order to completion, 6-months?

  4. nakedChimp 3 years ago

    Still not seeing rooftop PV in Cairns on businesses pop up like mushrooms.. you can count them on two hands.

    • George Darroch 3 years ago

      Businesses don’t always do what’s best for them, they’re run by humans after all (and sometimes monkeys).

      • RobS 3 years ago

        Or worse, conservatives.

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