From the category archives:

Solar and Renewable Energy Policy

Is home solar battery storage worth it? (Jan 2018 update)

January 18, 2018
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2018? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. We then had an August 2017 update, followed by […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

January 16, 2018
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Sydney is a great place for solar power, and roughly 10-15% of Sydney area homes have solar panels installed on their roofs. This article is 5-point guide to everything you need to know if you’re considering solar power for your Sydney home – including how Solar Choice can help you compare quotes. 5 good reasons to go solar […]

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Is home solar power still worth it in Australia in 2018?

January 11, 2018
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Rooftop solar on its own is already affordable enough to be a smart choice for virtually any Australian home with an unshaded roof and some daytime electricity usage. This is true even in the absence of generous, state-backed solar feed-in tariffs and the (slight) reduction of the up-front incentive for solar available through the federal Renewable […]

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Which electricity retailer is giving the best solar feed-in tariff?

January 10, 2018
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Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the solar energy that they send into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous. Much has changed, however, since we […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2018

January 10, 2018
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Slight decreases in most capital cities and across most system sizes resulted in an overall average commercial solar system price of about $1.17/W – the lowest on record since Solar Choice began keeping track of commercial solar system prices in May 2014. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2018

January 9, 2018
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In this month’s Solar PV Price Index, the average price for a ‘primary’/standard solar PV system offering remains almost unchanged from December, at about $1.31 per watt ($1.31/W). The average for a premium system was $1.56/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.93/W – both up slightly from last month. Average solar PV […]

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Victoria to introduce variable rate solar feed-in tariff – as high as 29c/kWh during peak times

December 20, 2017
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The Victorian Essential Services Commission (ESC) has proposed a variable-rate feed-in tariff for solar & battery system owners in the state. A draft decision from the ESC on the matter puts the state’s minimum solar feed-in rate (for off-peak periods) at 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (7.2c/kWh), while households exporting solar to the grid at peak […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – December 2017

December 13, 2017
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Welcome to the second edition of Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index – the companion to our Solar PV Price Index, which covers solar system installation prices around Australia. The aim of the Battery Storage Price Index is to assist you in determining whether batteries are right for your home. Average battery system prices for […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for December 2017

December 12, 2017
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This month’s Commercial Solar PV Price Index sees the introduction of 70kW solar systems for the first time (a long overdue addition). The average cost of installing a commercial solar system in Australia currently sits at around $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) – nominally less than last month‘s figure of $1.20/W and a modest improvement over […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2017

December 12, 2017
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The average price per watt ($/W) for primary offerings was $1.30 this month – down slightly from November and a new low since we began tracking prices in 2012. The average for a premium system was $1.54/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.86/W. December marks the second month using our new Solar […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

December 4, 2017
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for November 2017

November 29, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain at about $1.20 per watt (after STC incentive and GST are applied) for the month of November, according to data from the Solar Choice network. While the larger system sizes (30kW, 50kW, 100kW) remained mostly unchanged, average prices for 10kW systems dropped slightly – from $1.34/W last month to $1.30/W this […]

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ARENA still has $700m to spend, to bring down cost of storage

November 29, 2017
ARENA battery portfolio

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has tipped 2018 to be a big year for large-scale energy storage, as the Agency focuses its efforts and remaining funds on the integration of large-scale solar and wind. In an address to the Large Scale Solar and Storage conference in Sydney on Monday, ARENA investment director Dan Sturrock said […]

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Queensland chooses sunshine over coal, to relief of solar industry

November 28, 2017
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The medium-term future of the solar industry in Australia – along with several large-scale wind and hybrid projects, and some key storage installations – is back on stable ground, for now, with the likely re-election of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. The final result of the weekend poll, which is still being weighed up, could have […]

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Solar system size limits: How much does your local network allow? [UPDATED]

November 28, 2017
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What’s the upper limit to the amount of solar panel capacity that you can put on your roof? This is actually a multi-layered question that involves your roof area, your energy saving goals and any applicable restrictions imposed by your local electricity network company. This article touches on all these factors, but focuses mainly on […]

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Sizing residential solar & battery systems: A quick guide

November 27, 2017
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What size solar panel array do you need for your home? And if you’re considering battery storage, what size battery bank would be most appropriate? This article includes tables that provide an at-a-glance guide, as well as links to more comprehensive calculators. [Note that this article was originally published in April 2017.] Solar system sizing […]

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Stunning aerial imagery of Charles Sturt University’s 1.77MW solar array

November 24, 2017
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Charles Sturt University has this week officially opened its multi-roof, 1.77 megawatt (MW) solar system at its Wagga Wagga campus in south-west NSW, the tender for which was managed by Solar Choice in 2016. The solar arrays – which have been commissioned in stages throughout 2017 – are integrated into the university’s embedded electricity network, […]

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Solar power in Lismore, NSW: Compare prices & installers

November 20, 2017
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If you haven’t already realised it, Lismore NSW is a great spot for solar power. As with the rest of the state, solar power is affordable and electricity prices are high, making solar panels a ‘no brainer’ investment for anyone who has the budget and some unshaded roof space. This article covers the main things […]

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Introducing Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index (and a major overhaul of our Solar PV Price Index)

November 16, 2017
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Since the beginning of 2017, there have been over half a million views of battery storage-related pages on the Solar Choice website and well over 3,000 customer enquiries about batteries. These offer a fairly clear indication that people looking into solar are also interested in battery storage. A lot of this is thanks to coverage […]

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Rooftop solar changes unsettle industry, raising fears worse to come

November 14, 2017
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Australia’s peak solar industry body has called for written clarification from the federal government, after confusion surrounding proposed amendments to the Renewable Energy Target triggered concerns that the booming commercial solar market was being wound back. In a statement to members on Monday afternoon, the Australian Solar Council alleged that a federal Coalition MP had […]

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Australian solar on track for a record year following ‘massive’ October

November 10, 2017

Australian homes and businesses installed more than 100MW of new rooftop solar capacity for the month of October, up from 97MW in September, and almost guaranteeing a record 1GW-plus total for the year. Solar industry analysts SunWiz have reported another “massive” month of small-scale solar installs, totalling 107MW, and pushing the nation’s total installed capacity […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – November 2017

November 7, 2017
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We’ve introduced some major improvements to this month’s Solar PV Price Index. Namely: We’ve added 7kW solar systems to all tables We’ve included in new tables & data for ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ system offerings We’ve drawn clearer distinctions between ‘primary’, ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ pricing We’ve dropped 1.5kW systems from our data tracking (because so few […]

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Rooftop solar pushes WA grid demand to 8-year low

November 6, 2017
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Western Australia has charted its lowest levels of grid electricity demand in more than eight years, thanks to the state’s fast moving uptake of rooftop solar. In yet another example of how the distributed solar PV is is hollowing out demand during the middle of the day, WA recorded on Sunday 29 October its lowest […]

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Whyalla steel city goes green with 1GW of solar and storage

November 2, 2017
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UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has announced massive investments in solar and storage that will knock 40 per cent off electricity costs for his newly acquired Australian steel business. Gupta said on Monday he would build 1GW of dispatchable renewables – a suite of technologies including solar, battery storage, pumped hydro and demand management – in […]

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4 charts that show how quickly the global energy system is changing

October 26, 2017
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Four charts put together and tweeted over the weekend by clean energy industry veteran Ray Wills have illustrated just how quickly the transformation of the global energy market is happening. In the first chart, on global capacity growth, coal power does not feature at all. It does, however, feature in the following three charts, but […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for October 2017

October 26, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices stay steady at about $1.20 per watt for the month of October. The average price of a 100kW system comes in at about $1.10 per watt – or about $110,000 for a fully installed system (after STC incentive and GST are applied). Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in […]

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New QLD program unlocks benefits of solar for renters

October 25, 2017
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Queensland Labor has opened the way for thousands more homes in the Sunshine State – including the largely untapped rental market – to gain access to rooftop solar and battery storage. Launched this week as part of the Palaszczuk government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, the new policies will offer no-interest loans to consumers who […]

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The National Energy Guarantee: What it means if you’re thinking about going solar

October 19, 2017
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There’s been no shortage of media coverage regarding the Turnbull government’s recently proposed plan to tackle Australia’s rising electricity bills (see here, here, here and here). But what does the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) mean for homes & businesses thinking about going solar? We’ve been receiving a huge amount of traffic to our site – […]

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Household savings from National Energy Guarantee to be minimal over 12 years

October 18, 2017
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Malcolm Turnbull’s new energy policy will see little reduction in consumer energy bills over the next decade, and that’s outrageous. In an era where renewable energy costs are plunging, where the costs of rooftop solar are about one-sixth the cost of grid power, Australians are paying absurd prices for their electricity – upwards of 40c/kWh […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – October 2017

October 17, 2017
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Average solar system prices hold stable for the third month in a row, with the average price per watt ($/W) for an residential solar system installation coming in at about $1.44/W. The most popular and best value solar system size is still 5kW, costing about $1.14/W or $5,700 for a fully installed system. (Due to […]

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What if you sent all of your solar into the grid? Is it worth it?

September 29, 2017
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If you’ve got solar, the way to maximise your electricity bill savings these days is to use your solar energy directly within your home (or business). From an investment point of view, the conventional wisdom is that the worst thing you could do with the solar energy that your roof produces is to send it […]

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