Flying start for rooftop solar in 2020 with 33 per cent boost in January

There was little down-time for the rooftop solar industry this summer, with another 206MW of residential and commercial solar systems registered in a month that is usually fairly quiet on the solar calendar.

According to the latest data from market analsyt SunWiz, the national market for solar PV systems up to 100kW in size made  a reasonable start for the year 2020, coming in just slightly lower than December 2019, but well ahead of January last year, and all previous Januaries.

What is more, it notes that both Victoria and Western Australia “bucked the trend” and made an increas on solar registrations over the first month of the new year.

“Typically January is much quieter than December when it comes to system installations,” said SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston.

“In December, rather than sales the focus is on the end-of-year installation surge, and January’s holiday period means sales and installations typically both dip.

“Despite this, the market held up remarkably well in January,” Johnston adds, locking in 33 per cent higher registered volume compared to the same time in 2019.

Johnstons says the residential market stayed reasonably steady across the country, with system sizes continuing at an average of nearly 8kW.

A slight reduction in the 5kW rooftop solar segment, meanwhile, indicates a preference for larger systems by households.

In the small commercial segment (up to 50kW) there was a considerable fall back in system regnstrations, while the large commercial sector remained steady compared to last month, the report shows.

NSW again led the nation for highest installation capacity as a state, albeit at a lower level than the previous month’s record. Similar reductions in volume were also recorded in Queensland and South Australia.

Victoria and Western Australia, however, showed “steep growth,” with both showing increases in their residential sectors and SA showing growth in its commercial sector.

In commercial solar, Johnston says previous sharp growth in the 10-20kW and 20-30kW brackets has stabilised this month, while 30-50kW and 50-75kW sectors remained balanced.

One area of concern, however, remains the coronavirus, with some installers already saying advisory notices of supply bottlenecks had been issued because of the slowdown of manufacturing in China, where 90 per cent of Australia’s rooftop solar panels are sourced.

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