Australia home to some of the lowest solar installation prices in the world, IEA confirms

Australia has some of the world’s cheapest installed system prices for grid-connected residential and commercial solar PV systems, according to the latest global PV report from the International Energy Agency, released on Monday.

The prices, at $US1.76/W and $1.61/W, for residential and commercial, respectively, confirm that in Australia, along with many regions of the world, solar PV is now recognised as one of the least-cost options for electricity generation.

Off-grid vs on-grid solarAccording to the IEA report, its 20th edition of Trends in Photovoltaic Applications, Australia is on par with, or cheaper than, most ranking EU countries on solar module prices, and is competitive with Japan and China, which had the lowest reported module price in 2014 at $US0.61c/W – up from $US0.52c/W in 2013, recorded in Australia.

Indicative module pricesFor this reason, among others, Australia has jumped from 10th to 8th position on the IEA’s list of the top 1o global PV markets, with 0.9 GW installed in 2014, up from 0.8GW in 2013. At the end of 2014, Australia had 4.1GW of PV systems installed and commissioned and is on track to reach 5GW by the end of 2015.

As you can see in the chart below, solar PV now accounts for 2.5 per cent of Australia’s total electricity needs. Leading the world in this metric is Italy, where solar PV generation accounts for around 8 per cent of annual electricity demand coming from PV, followed by Germany and Greece at 7 per cent.

PV contribution electricity demandIt is interesting to note in the above chart that almost half of that 2.5 per cent of Australia’s solar contribution is consumed at its point of generation – that is, self consumed. Quite a high rate, compared to the other countries listed.

Globally, 2014 saw continued growth in the PV market, with a total of 40GW of PV capacity installed during 2014 compared with 37GW in 2013. This raised the total installed capacity to more than 177GW.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd