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Published on June 11th, 2014 | by Giles Parkinson

7

Rooftop Solar = 2% Of Electricity Generation In Australia

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June 11th, 2014 by
 

Originally published on Renew Economy.

This graph below caught our eye – showing not just the increase in installed capacity of rooftop solar PV in Australia in recent years, but also the increase in individual household system size.

This data – included in the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Systems Program annual report – is taken to the end of 2013, although recent figures show that the accumulated total is now 3.4GW on around 1.4 million homes.

A couple of key points emerge.  The first is that the size of residential rooftop solar PV systems increased from 1kW in 2009 to 4kW in 2013. In just the last three years, the size of the system has more than doubled, and the total capacity has risen three-fold.

The report says that around 850MW of solar PV was installed in 2013,  mainly small- scale residential systems. Despite increased restrictions on PV power exports to the grid, and low or zero rates now paid for exported power, solar PV system sizes have continued to increase.

The second major point is that rooftop solar PV now accounts for around 5% of electricity capacity and 2% of electricity generation in Australia. As we have seen, this is eating into the earnings of incumbent generators and is one of the main reasons they want support for rooftop solar to be removed.

The report notes that module prices continued to drop from $1.30 per watt in 2012 to around 75c/watt  and installed prices for small residential systems dropped from an average of around $3/watt to around $2.50 watt.

“With continued increases in grid electricity prices, PV is a cost effective option for homeowners across Australia and is of increasing interest to the commercial sector.”

However, the report warned that development of the commercial market is currently hampered by the lack of standardised procedures or rights to connect, while the residential market may be impacted by restrictions, fees and other disincentives. “If imposed, these could result in further market contraction in 2014.”

It also noted that there is increasing customer interest in on-site storage.

“Although not yet cost effective for most customers, a market for storage is already developing. This trend could exacerbate issues faced by incumbent electricity sector businesses, even if it offers a means to manage supply intermittency and peak demand, since it would facilitate the installation of larger PV systems and may also see a trend to self-sufficiency and disconnection of customers from main grids.”

apvi solar systems

 

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About the Author

is the founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.



  • LookingForward

    It will be interesting to see what will happen to average system size, when storage and EV and electrical heating/cooking become more affordable/mainstream.

  • jburt56

    Think bigger.

  • JamesWimberley

    “Development of the commercial market is currently hampered by the lack of standardised procedures or rights to connect ..”
    Underline this. As solar equipment gets cheaper, the red tape factor becomes ever more important. Australia has simple permitting and connection rules for household rooftop solar, so it has boomed. The commercial sector faces the same costs and the same sun, but is stymied. Aussies in their wisdom have voted into national and state government a bunch of denialist coal puppets, so no relief is in sight. ,

    • Calamity_Jean

      Is any Australian politician speaking out against the denialist coal puppets? Seems to me this would be an opportunity for the opposition party(ies), especially since the world is probably going to have an El Nino this year or the next. I understand El Ninos make it hotter in Australia; when the next one happens there is going to be a lot of deaths there caused by heat, both human and animal.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Calamity, here is an article on climate change an Australian politics you may be interested in:

        http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/labor-regains-climate-mojo-as-abbott-slams-door-on-world-41812

        The first commenter, Zvyozdochka, summed things up very well as “LNP (the current Coalition government) represent, or are purchased by business-as-usual. Labor are for
        losing old-jobs more slowly, while the Greens are for re-inventing the
        economy.”

        • Calamity_Jean

          That was interesting, thanks. Good luck to the Greens, the whole world is going to need it.

  • tibi stibi

    ”The report notes that module prices continued to drop from $1.30 per
    watt in 2012 to around 75c/watt and installed prices for small
    residential systems dropped from an average of around $3/watt to around
    $2.50 watt.”

    interesting while module prices per watt dropt 55 cents the installed prices only dropt 50 cents!

    i think the best way to decrease cost will be to improve efficiency of the modules. so we need less of them making installation costs less.

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