Clean Power

Published on February 18th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Solar PV Below $2/Watt In Australia

February 18th, 2013 by  

Solar Choice provides a solar PV price index for Australian solar that is updated monthly. Its price index is broken down by region, and from what I’ve gathered, it’s the best source for solar PV prices in Australia. Solar Choice has a network of over 100 solar installers.

The comparison shopping firm just recently released its February price index. As you can see in the table below, the median price for a 5kW solar PV system is now under $2/watt in Australia — $1.98/watt, to be specific. (I think that must be in AUD, though. At the current transfer rate, that would be USD $2.04/watt — still a great deal less than solar in the U.S.)

solar power price australia

For a little more context on how things are changing in Australia, Solar Choice writes: “Following on from the January PV Price Index, prices remain higher than previous months as a result in the decrease in available Federal Solar Rebates but despite this, the cost of solar PV continues to decrease.”

To read much more and see other tables on the price of solar and solar incentives in various regions of Australia, check out Solar Choice’s full post: Solar Choice Price Index – February 2013.

Presumably, Australian solar prices are much lower than U.S. solar prices for several of the same reasons German solar prices are much lower than U.S. solar pricesU.S. permitting regulations (or shackles) are much more costly; the U.S. market isn’t as mature or competitive; and U.S. incentives may be keeping solar prices higher. But this all requires much more research to be more than an educated guess.

Anyway, it’s great to see the price of solar dropping below $2/watt in Australia! Keep it up, you crazy Aussies!

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Germany’s average installed solar price was $2.03/watt in January, 2013.

    Looks like we’ve got to countries doing the low-low….

    eta: What’s the STC discount? A subsidy? Germany’s $2/watt does not include any subsidies.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “Solar Credits apply to the first 1.5kW of capacity installed for systems connected to a main electricity grid and up to the first 20kW of capacity for off-grid systems.You can visit the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) for eligibility criteria as well as confirm compliance with your supplier.

      Calculating the value of Solar Credits:
      A 1.5kW system, in a zone 3 postcode (Sydney) will create approximately 31 STC’s. With a multiplier of 3 and an STC market price of $35 the Solar Credits will be worth $3,225.*
      A 1.5kW system in a zone 4 postcode (Hobart) will create approximatlely 26 STC’s. With a multiplier of 3 and an STC market price of $35 the Solar Credits will be worth $2,730.*”

      Sounds like in order to get the non-subsidized price of solar we would need to add in about $AU2 for the first 1,500 watts of each system.

      Any down-under folks got a better feel for this?

      • Ronald Brakels

        Rooftop solar in Australia is now treated similar to other renewable energy source when it comes to subsidies from the first of this year, which is a bit odd given its advantages when it comes to holding down transmission costs. There is no longer a solar multiplier which gives an extra subsidy for the first 1.5 kilowatts of a system. In a surprise move that was ended six months early on the first of this year. The subsidy for new rooftop solar came to about 65 cents a watt. This would make a 3 kilowatt system, the most commonly currently installed size, cost about $2.80 a watt without subsidy. That includes our 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST), so without that it would be about $2.55 a watt.

        Feed-in tariffs for new solar are now about 8 cents a kilowatt-hour for most Australians which is close to the daytime wholesale price of electricity and ignores transmission benefits. Some people can get a higher feed-in tariff from their electricity retailer and some people can’t.

        Australia has a way to go before it matches Germany’s installion costs, but we’re getting there. We’re moving away from fun sized 1.5 kilowatt systems and on average doing larger installs now which helps lower the cost per watt.

        • gotta get you to do another one of those maths pieces. 😀

      • RobS

        The multiplier was reduced from 3 to 2 on July 2012, and was due to be removed altogether ie. changed to a “multiplier” of 1 on July 1st 2013 but the government announced in november an early withdrawal of the multiplier which brought it forward to 1/1/13. Therefore now there is no solar credit multiplier and we only get the raw RECs. Therefore now a 1.5kw system will generate 31 STC,s in zone 3 and 26 in zone 4, which are worth about $30 each therefore the current rebate for the system is $750 in zone 4 and $930 in zone 3. This correlates to about $0.50 to $0.70 per watt in susbsidies. This is down from $8 per watt 6 years ago.
        Unsisbsidised solar in Australia is about $2.50 per watt.

  • jburt56

    Aussies are close to the solar breakout.

    • Ronald Brakels

      We’re there now. Rooftop solar is the cheapest source of electricity available to Australian households and support for it has been cut so low new solar may be subsidizing the rest of the grid.

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