Solar panels remain a popular investment option in Queensland thanks to low solar PV system prices and ample sunshine. Today, both homes and businesses alike consider going solar as a way to save on energy bills.
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3 reasons to go solar in Queensland
There are essentially 3 reasons for the current level of popularity that solar panels enjoy in Queensland.
- Queensland is home to some of the sunniest regions of the country, and it is aptly named the Sunshine State. The amount of sun that shines in an area has a direct impact on the theoretical upper limit for the amount of power that a solar panel system can produce. More sun equals more solar energy, which equals greater savings on power bills.
- The price of installing solar panels in Queensland has fallen dramatically in the past few years, thanks to both global and local factors. Solar Choice publishes a monthly article on the current average and median prices of solar systems in all of Australia’s capital cities, called the Solar PV Price Index. The table below – from the April 2019 edition of the Price Index – shows how average prices for 5kW systems in Brisbane have changed since 2012. By our estimates, system prices are now less than 60% of what they were then.
- Electricity prices are high across the state, and homes and businesses are looking to cut down their bills. Combined with energy efficiency and smart power usage, installing solar panels in Queensland is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of power you need to purchase from the grid.
These three factors mean that solar panels offer relatively short payback periods and attractive returns for the right household or business – well under 5 years for most parts of the state.
Making the most of your solar panels in Queensland through ‘self-consumption’
If you’re installing a solar PV system after 2012, the way to get the most value out of it is to focus on ‘self-consuming‘ the solar energy – using it directly as it is produced. By using your solar energy directly, you’ll avoid having to purchase energy from the grid (for about 25-30c per kilowatt-hour, or unit). By contrast, letting your energy go into the grid will net you only 6-10c/kWh as a feed-in tariff credit, depending on your electricity retailer.
The amount of power being produced by a solar panel array at any given point in the day varies depending on the sun’s position in the sky, and therefore the amount of solar radiation falling on the solar panels. The sunlight is weaker during the morning and evening, and most intense in the middle of the day – between about 11am and 2pm.
By running devices when there is solar energy available, you will effectively ‘soak it up’, so that only the excess is sent back into the grid. The more you can use directly, the more you can save. You can do this by manually switching on devices, setting them on timers, or by setting up a home energy management system.
About solar batteries
Battery storage is a great way to increase your solar self-consumption rate, but you should do your research to make sure that a battery system is right for your needs. Check out our recent article: Is solar battery storage worth it in 2019?
- Solar & battery system sizing: A quick guide
- Solar Payback Estimator Tool
- Solar Choice Calculator Resource Library
- Solar power in Brisbane
- Solar & battery storage in Brisbane
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