The Australian rooftop solar market remains strong, posting its third highest monthly volume in May despite two consecutive monthly falls that finally reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on installations.
The latest data from industry analysts Sunwiz shows that 220MW of small scale rooftop solar was registered in the month of May, down from April which in turn was down from the record high level in March. But it was still the third highest month on record.
“The market in May was down on April’s volume,” says Sunwiz director Warwick Johnston. “This is highly atypical, as in previous years May has had similar volume to March.”
Johnston says the downturn is likely the impact of Covid-19 on registration volumes, with a plausible explanation being the ‘pulling forward’ of STC registration into March (and April) by solar retailers seeking to address cashflow concerns.
“May was still in the top-3 months for registration volume to date, implying that the current downturn is more the case of ‘down on where we would have been in the absence of Covid’ rather than ‘back down to 2019 levels (or lower)’.”
As confirmation of the ongoing strength in the market, the total for small scale rooftop solar installations for the first five months of the year remains 35 per cent ahead of the same period a year ago. That suggests the total for 2020 will easily beat the record 2019 total of more than 2.2GW.
In the last month, the leading state was again NSW with 67MW, followed by Queensland (57MW) and Victoria (44MW). W.A. and South Australia had 24MW and 23MW respectively.