Solar hot water installations drive uptick in small renewables market | RenewEconomy

Solar hot water installations drive uptick in small renewables market

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Australia’s small-scale renewable energy market has charted a small uptick in the month of June, after a record increase in the creation of certificates generated by the installation of solar hot water systems.

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Australia’s small-scale renewable energy market has charted a small uptick in the month of June, after a record increase in the creation of certificates generated by the installation of solar hot water systems.

The latest report from Green Energy Markets shows a 9 per cent increase in small-scale technology certificates (STCs) over the course of June 2015 to 1.4 million, while prices remained steady during – opening at $39.80 and closing the month slightly up at $39.85.

As mentioned – and as you can see in chart below – the month (to July 10) also recorded a 23 per cent increase (to 181,000) in the creation of STCs from solar hot water installations – the highest level for solar hot water during the life of the SRES.

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According to Green Energy Markets managing director Ric Brazzale, the increase in every state in solar hot water uptake reflected in the June data is partly a seasonal trend – as you can see in chart 5.1, uptake tends to spike in the colder months when, according to Brazzale, people start to care more about their hot water supply – but was also most likely boosted by the growth in the new home construction sector that is happening around Australia.

Brazzale says most of the states have fairly strong policy support mechanisms encouraging the installation of solar hot water systems in new-build homes, particularly Victoria (see above), which has made it compulsory for new homes to have either solar hot water or a rain water tank.

Overall, the report says STC creation for the first 27 weeks of the year, to 10 Jul 2015, is tracking at 311,000 per week, which is 7.4 per cent behind target and 9.6 per cent lower than the same point last year.

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“We have seen little bit of an uptick in certificate creation, in the last month or so,” Brazzale told RenewEconomy in an interview. “That’s a poisitive sign. Although we have been tracking below target, we are getting back toward target again.”

The report also finds that, at 10 July, a total of 3.4 million registered STCs were available.

“Based on average creation of 324,000 per week we expect that a further 0.65 million will be registered by the 28 July surrender. This will mean that only 4.05 million STCs will be available to meet the expected 4.6 million required for surrender,” the report says.

“The Clearing House will again come into play in a material way with the Regulator issuing a significant number of STCs. On the basis that 324,000 STCs are registered each week (average over the last 4 weeks) the quarterly STC deficit will continue to grow over the rest of the year.”

As you can see in the charts below, the small-scale commercial solar PV market is still being led by NSW, followed by Victoria and Queensland. Queensland leads in total installed solar PV capacity, however, and in the size of the systems being put on mostly residential roofs.

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