The cost, productivity & return on investment for 2kW solar panel systems.

How much does a 2kW solar system cost, how much energy can you expect it to produce, and what sort of a financial return will a home see on a system of this size in Australia? This article takes a look at these questions.

(This article was originally published in 2012 – we’ve recently updated it to reflect how circumstances have changed!)

Pricing for 2kW solar systems in Australia

Solar system prices have fallen dramatically in recent years, thanks to both global and local factors; in fact, today, Australia boasts some of the lowest residential solar prices in the world. As of January 2016, 2kW solar system prices range from about $2,100 on the low end to $5,700 on the high end (fully installed, including GST, and including the federal government’s incentives for solar). Prices differ according to location, amount of solar incentive available (less sunny regions receive a smaller discount), and products used.

Solar Choice has been keeping track of price solar installation pricing trends in Australia since August of 2012 with our monthly Solar PV Price Index articles. As you can see in the chart below, on average, the cost of a 2kW solar system has fallen about 25% since that time.

2kW solar system prices Jan 20162kW solar system prices in Australia since August 2012. The average price is about $1.86 per watt ($/W), or about $3,700.

2kW solar system prices average Jan 2015Average 2kW solar system prices in capital cities in Australia as of January 2016.  2kW solar system prices high low avg per watt Jan 2016Average, high and low prices for 2kW solar system in Australian capital cities as of January 2016 – in $/W format.

Compare solar installation quotes instantly: Complete our Solar Quote Comparison request form on the right of this page.

How much energy will a 2kW solar system generate?

There are a number of factors that will influence how much energy a solar system produces – location, orientation & tilt of the panels, the presence or absence of shading and the overall efficiency of the components in the system are chief among them.

It’s convenient to summarise solar system output in a single figure – namely, kilowatt-hours per day (kWh/day). But the reality is that most locations receive more sunshine in the summer than in the winter; accordingly, PV system energy yields will usually be higher in the summer and lower in the winter.

The table below provides some rough figures on average daily outputs from 2kW solar systems in a handful of Australia’s capital cities, as well as the maximum and minimum outputs for summer and winter. All situations assume north-facing aspect, panels tilted at latitude and an overall system efficiency of 85%. (Data source: PVWatts.)

 Indicative 2kW solar system output for select Australian cities
 Sydney Brisbane Melbourne Perth
 Average7.6kWh8.3kWh 7.6kWh 9.1kWh
 Summer (Dec)8.9kWh9.4kWh 8.8kWh 10.5kWh
 Winter (June)6.1kWh6.6kWh 5.1kWh 16.7kWh

Financial returns on 2kW solar systems

Indicative returns for 2kW solar systems @ average prices

(Assuming 25kWh electricity consumption/day @ 25c/kWh)

Sydney Brisbane
@ 50% self-consumption@ 70% self-consumption@ 50% self-consumption@ 70% self-consumption
~8.2 year payback~6.8 year payback~7.2 year payback~6 year payback
~10% IRR~13% IRR~12% IRR~16% IRR
~$450 annual savings~$550 annual savings~$490 annual savings~$590 annual savings
Melbourne Perth
@ 50% self-consumption@ 70% self-consumption@ 50% self-consumption70% self-consumption
~8.7 year payback~7.2 year payback~5.2 year payback~4.3 year payback
~9% IRR~12% IRR~18% IRR~23% IRR
~$430 annual savings~$530 annual savings~$422 annual savings~$637 annual savings

Want to learn more?

Try plugging some figures into our solar system ROI calculator yourself! Self-consumption is just one of the variables that can be adjusted to determine your likely payback time and return on investment. (Calculator outputs are indicative only–please keep in mind that electricity rates and feed-in tariff rates may change over time.)

Compare solar installation quotes instantly: Complete our Solar Quote Comparison request form on the right of this page.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd


  1. The exact figures will be difficult to tell. But I am damn sure that investment won’t go waste, as it’s a life time investment. Solar energy systems are the best sources of energy.

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