Energy increase uncertainties prompt massive solar uptake

Australian’s truly did bask in the sun last year. Not only was 2018 one of the most hottest and driest years on record, it was also a year where PV additions eclipsed previous years by quite some margin.

Green Energy Trading data recorded that as a nation Australia tripled its solar capacity in 2018 from the previous year. 3775MW’s was added compared to the 1270MW’s from 2017. Forecasts for 2019 by the same consultancy envisage 4700MW’s to be added which would be up by a further quarter.

Whilst last year saw many solar farms be constructed it was also a year where both homes and commercial premises exceeded a 40% growth:

2017 Residential Commercial Small power Utility Total
ACT 9 2.1 11.1
NSW 202.2 57.2 13.6 273
NT 10.1 5.7 15.8
QLD 249.4 56.5 19.5 119 444.4
SA 79.6 31 5.1 115.7
TAS 11.2 3.2 0.3 14.7
VIC 140.5 56.5 5.6 202.5
WA 157.6 30.2 4.7 192.5
Total megawatts 859.7 242.3 48.8 119 1269.8

Source: Green Energy Trading

2018 Residential Commercial Small power Utility Total
АСТ 18.4 4.4 0.8 23.6
NSW 326.1 87.3 26 399.2 838.6
NT 14.5 5.6 7.8 27.9
QLD 320.3 78.3 19.4 1076.8 1495.4
SA 112 53.9 23.2 149.4 348.5
TAS 12.7 5.7 1.7 20.1
VIC 237.2 82.3 29.5 419.2 768.2
WA 175.4 34.3 5.3 38 253.4
Total megawatts 1227.2 351.8 113.7 2082.6 3775.7
2018 Increase 42.80% 45.20% 132.80% 197.30%

Residentially NSW held the largest market although Vic was very close behind which was due in part to a pre-election promise from the Andrews Labour Government to support the installation of 650,000 new systems.

Commercially both NSW & Vic were out on top swiftly followed by QLD who still retain the highest large scale capacity penetration (above 100kW). Businesses looking to add systems above 100kW’s is expected to see an even further growth in 2019 after doubling in 2018.

One of the reasons for the growth expected is that many companies have 3 year energy contracts and for the ones who are set to renew this year (around a third) they can expect to move to higher rates – thus making PV a more attractive offer.

Matt Lasauce

Matt Lasauce is the Chief Commercial Manager for Solar Choice Pty Ltd.
Matt Lasauce

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