The influence of rooftop solar PV on Australia’s electricity grids is growing steadily, highlighted by recent data that shows households and businesses are supplying more than 10 per cent of total electricity demand during many of the daytime hours.
Data from the APVI live solar map (it also has historical information) for recent days shows that rooftop solar in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia average more than 10 per cent from the hours of 10am to 4pm (local time) on Sunday.
Although this was a non-work day, there was heavy demand on the local grids because of the use of air-conditioning.
The three states have the highest levels of rooftop solar penetration in Australia. In South Australia, which has a penetration level of nearly 20 per cent, rooftop solar PV provided more than 15 per cent of the state’s electricity needs at several peak times in recent weeks.
Recent studies have suggested that the role of rooftop solar has helped remove many of the major pricing peaks in the wholesale electricity market. However, that also means lower revenue for the incumbent coal and gas fired generators that rely on such pricing peaks – and the premium that used to exist in daylight hours – to boost their revenue.