Australia’s rooftop solar market has enjoyed its best month for nearly two years, with record volumes being set in Western Australia and Victoria now joining New South Wales and Queensland in having more than 1 gigawatt of rooftop capacity.
According to industry statistician Sunwiz, a total of 74MW of rooftop solar was installed across the country in November — “the best we have seen in over two years,” Sunwiz director Warwick Johnston says.
It brings the grand total for Australia to 5.275GW, with Queensland leading the way with 1.6GW, NSW following with 1.14GW and Victoria totalling 996MW. Victoria added 13MW in November and will have already breached the 1GW in the first weeks of December.
In the latest month, Queensland again led the way, with 21MW, its highest since mid 2014, and NSW added 17MW.
The statistics confirm anecdotal evidence from installers that the rate of increase has jumped sharply, partly due to the imminent winding down of upfront rebates, partly due to the expiry of solar bonus tariffs in some states (NSW, Victora, South Australia), and partly due to the interest in battery storage. Module prices have also fallen.
Of interest was WA, which added 13MW in the month to take its total 639MW, indicating that rising electricity prices as the government slowly unwinds its massive price subsidy (which accounts for nearly one third of retail costs), excellent sunshine and battery storage is attracting more installations.
Energy minister Mike Nahan has predicted that solar and storage will rapidly transform the energy market, with all of daytime demand being met by rooftop solar on some occasions within a few years.