There has been little solar system price increase in solar PV system prices since the Federal Solar Credits REC multiplier fell from 3x to 2x, according to analysis by Warwick Johnston of Sunwiz, based on data from Solar Choice.
The REC (or STC) Multiplier is a provision under the Solar Credits Scheme which effectively provides extra-large up-front discounts for the first 1.5kW of small-scale solar power system capacity. The Solar Credits Scheme, in conjunction with state-based Solar Feed-in Tariffs, has played a major role in making solar PV systems financially attractive to homes and small businesses.
There was some worry that the STC Multiplier would be reduced to 1x (effectively no multiplier) at the beginning of July, when it was scheduled to drop from 3x to 2x. In the end, this turned out to not be the case–a relief to many in the residential solar industry (and despite some concerns that ‘ghost STCs’ were creating market distortions).
At least initially, the solar system prices seem to have weathered the transition smoothly (Table 1) according to the Sunwiz analysis, with certain sized systems in certain capital Australian cities–namely Sydney and Adelaide–having actually fallen slightly between June and July. Analysis of the pre-federal subsidy cost per watt of system (Table 2) reveals, however, that installers have absorbed this drop in the up-front rebate drop.
This is good news for those in the market for a solar PV system, if not necessarily good news for solar system installation companies. The coming months will reveal whether prices are to continue on this trajectory.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.
James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
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