New figures revealed this week show that Australia’s total solar PV capacity has surpassed 5 GW.
According to figures provided by Australian solar consultancy SunWiz, the country’s solar power industry has installed at least 5 GW of solar, representing 9% of Australia’s total electricity generation capacity of 56 GW.
In fact, solar was the number one new power source in 2015, with 913 MW of new solar capacity added across Australia in 2015. By comparison, wind energy did fairly well, installing 774 MW of new capacity in 2015, while coal actually decommissioned 1300 MW of capacity during the year.
Solar installations during 2015 were made up of 712 MW of systems less than 100 kW, and 230 MW worth of solar systems above 100 kW, including the big-name 102 MW Nyngan and 53 MW Broken Hill solar projects, the country’s two largest solar projects.
SunWiz doesn’t have a lot of faith in Australia’s solar market moving forward, however, after publishing a report earlier this week in which it concluded that Australia’s residential solar market is expected to continue to contract during 2016 due to existing high penetration and the possibility the country’s Feed-in Tariff may come to an end.
“Though the commercial market grew in 2015, the growth was far less than in previous years,” SunWiz’ analysts concluded. “SunWiz expects modest growth to continue in the small-to-medium commercial segment as a whole, though there will be key high-growth segments targeted by the most well-informed and successful PV retailers.”
SunWiz, in its announcement published Wednesday, SunWiz note that there are a “number of utility-scale solar farms in early stages of development,” but that “most will commence deployment in 2017, meaning contraction in the solar industry is likely in 2016.”