Clean Power

Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Giles Parkinson


Rooftop Solar Meets 20% Of South Australian Demand (With Graphs)

February 11th, 2014 by  

Originally published on RenewEconomy.

Here’s another interesting graph showing the growing impact of rooftop solar PV in Australia. In South Australia, the state with the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the country, rooftop solar PV probably contributed more than 20 per cent of the state’s demand between the hours of noon and 4pm on Sunday. As this graph taken from the APVI’s Solar Map shows us.

apvi solar main copy

Last week, we noted how three states had sources at least 10 per cent of the demand from rooftop solar for large parts of the day. Today’s graph from the APVI’s solar map shows that in South Australia, at least 20 per cent of the state’s demand came from rooftop solar PV, for a large part of the day, with a peak output of more than 22 per cent just before 2pm. Rooftop solar supplied more than 10 per cent of the state’s demand between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

Here’s another view of what happened in SA.

apvi solar dmand pv copy

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About the Author

is the founding editor of, 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.

  • Ronald Brakels

    I did a little estimate myself on Sunday and ended up with a figure of about 23% of total electricity use being met by rootop solar at around solar noon in South Australia. The interesting thing was the peak demand occurred at around 1:00 am in the morning when people’s off peak hot water systems switched on. That is very unusual, but it will happen more often as more rooftop solar is installed.

    • Kent.Carboy

      If look closely at that site where the data was collected you find that solar power working at night ? you got to be carefully about that data, the percentage are wrong, when it should be zero at 1am-7am- 7pm to 12pm.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Allow me to explain again as I clearly didn’t do a good job last time. At around solar noon rooftop solar was suppling about 23% of total electricity use and our highest total electricity occurred around this time. Our highest grid demand (and I really should have pointed out that it was grid demand) occurred at around 1:00 am as a result of our off-peak hot water systems turning on, which is mildly amusing because they are supposed to be off-peak hot water systems, not peak hot water systems.

        • Kent.Carboy

          Right I got It.

          There been talks around the nation to do away with off peak, do you think that will happen given the move to renewables?.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Well, when it’s not summer in South Australia we could extend off peak power until late in the afternoon when production from rooftop solar starts to decline. But depending on where one is and ones electricity meter it is possible to get flexible pricing which reflects the new reality of grid demand better than simple peak and off-peak pricing and this is probably the direction in which things will head. And there is no reason why we can’t have something that is more flexible than flexible pricing with households paying spot prices plus (large) charges for distribution.

          • Kent.Carboy

            That my concern the market is changing fast, real thinking to move right of the grid now, 15 years ago I bought street solar power sign which had used deep cycle batteries plus the solar panels which was grate because it can be follow the sun manually proved 80% of my power. The cost of electricity going up, daily charge jumping up, coming to the point where I can be fully remote with out the SMART metering on my back.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Given our fixed supply charges and high costs per kilowatt-hour for grid electricity and now low feed-in tariffs for solar in Australia it is tempting to go off grid. But please don’t do it. We need people’s surplus solar electricity as each kilowatt-hour fed into the grid is a
            kilowatt-hour that isn’t being produced by coal or gas. What we really need in Australia is the elimination of or at least a large reduction in supply charges to stop people dropping off grid. This will increase the cost of grid electricity per kilowatt-hour, but will decrease the total electricity bills of the poor as they don’t use much electricity and under our current system they subsidise the electricity use of the rich.

          • So you just have two tiers — peak & off peak?

          • Ronald Brakels

            The tiers vary from state to state and place to place. A considerable number of Australians still have ancient electricity meters that only read how much electricity is consumed and not the time of use and so they just have a single flat rate. Most people pay peak and off peak rates and the peak may go from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. We also have summer and winter rates with higher prices in the summer due to higher demand. In Victoria they have (not so) smart meters and so they can have what’s called flexible pricing that has peak and off-peak rates and an inbetween rate called shoulder. Commerical and industrial users pay much less than households going all the way down to about 3 cents a kilowatt-hour for brown coal generated electricity supplied to an aluminium smelter in Victoria. And large commerical and industrial users can pay spot rates that reflect the actual wholesale cost of generating electricity. According to my latest electricity bill, from the new year, including supply charges, I paid just under 48 Australian cents per kilowatt-hour for grid electricity.

        • Ha, yeah, the 1st comment confused me a bit. 😀

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