JinkoSolar head predicts new era of growth for Aussie solar

Leading global solar module maker JinkoSolar says the Australian solar market is set for renewed growth in coming years as households add and expand systems to take advantage of battery storage, and the large-scale solar sector takes off.

In an interview with RenewEconomy last week, JinkoSolar chairman, Xiande Li, said the company expects the expiry of premium feed-in tariffs in NSW at the end of the year, and in other states, will trigger renewed demand for rooftop solar.
“Our partners are seeing significantly increased demand for battery storage from the residential rooftop market, albeit from a small base,” Li said.

“2016 seems to be the year of the first mover in battery storage with many companies entering the Australian market.”

This is being partly driven by the expiry of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme, where more than 146,000 households and small businesses will find themselves paying electricity bills next year after paying little or nothing.

“The average system size installed under the program was only around 2kW, so many of those households and businesses will be looking to upgrade to larger solar arrays connected to battery storage to keep their electricity bills low,” Yi said.

“With the average system size installed in Australia now being above 5kW, we are expecting this to translate into growth in the residential market beginning in New South Wales in 2017 and continuing across the country as battery costs continue to fall.”

The large scale market is also expected to grow quickly. Some 480MW of projects won grants from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency in its large scale solar tender, but Li says he expects many other projects to go ahead.

“We remain confident that many of the projects that did not receive funding will ultimately be built,” he said.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson