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Solar installation numbers for August lowest since 2010: Sunwiz

Australia’s rooftop solar market has charted the worst August in five years, down 10 per cent on the same period a year ago, according to leading research house SunWiz.

New figures released this week show that 65MW of rooftop solar was installed across the country in the month of August, higher than most other months this year but the lowest August since 2010. Total installation for the year to date is now at 477MW, down 10 per cent on the same time last year.

2015 solar installs vs previous yearsThe fall in installations came despite a fall in system prices, with new record lows for system prices being recorded in the 3kW, 4kW and 5kW system sizes. The average system price was $1.75/watt.

Sunwiz director Warwick Johnston said the only growth market in the country is NSW, and it nearly caught up with the Queensland market again (it did so on a few occasions earlier this year).

That was mostly due to the growth in the commercial scale solar, which now accounts for 30 per cent of the market in NSW and South Australia, but just 10 per cent of the market in Queensland, a problem recognised by Queensland energy minister Mark Bailey this week.

“We are starting to see saturation effects in some places, and electricity price rises have abated,” said Johnston in comments to RE.

Around 12,600 households and business installed solar in the latest month. But analysts believe the solar market is being affected by changes in tariffs, with feed in tariffs being slashed in all states, and fixed charges also being increased.

The NSW pricing regulator justified its proposed tariff cuts by saying that solar households could install battery storage (not yet widely available), or signing PPAs with large retailers.

More details of Sunwiz research can be found here.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd