Australia’s rooftop solar market has dusted itself off after two months of Covid-connected downturns to chart an increase in installations of 8.4% – from 250MW in August to 271MW in September – the first true upward movement recorded since June.
The latest data from industry analysts SunWiz shows that the September rebound in rooftop PV installations under 100kW has taken Australia’s total installed capacity to near the 2.5GW mark for the year so far, putting it 15% ahead of the same time in 2020 and well on track to sail past a total of 3GW for the year.
Covid slowdowns and other headwinds in the solar market, including increased material and shipping costs, have still left their mark, however, with September charting a 1% drop in the market’s annual growth rate, continuing a gradual three month decline.
The month-on-month turnaround, meanwhile, was boosted by a come-back in New South Wales, which appears to be regaining some pre-lockdown form, closing out September with a volume of installs that once again surpassed both Queensland and Victoria.
For the month, NSW added a total of 75MW of new rooftop solar capacity, compared to 72MW in Queensland and 60MW in Victoria. Western Australia installed a total of 28MW for the month, followed by 27MW in South Australia.
As the SunWiz chart below illustrates, all states (except for the “Other”) experienced an increase in the residential rooftop solar segment, while Victoria also experienced an increase in the small commercial (15-30kW) segment.
In Victoria, which has recently secured the dubious title of most locked-down region in the world over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state saw a marked month-on-month decrease in the 30-100kW commercial sector, perhaps a reflection of businesses reining in spending after another very tough year.
A recent snap two-week ban on construction in the state, which also brought rooftop installs to a stand-still, will no doubt be reflected the state’s numbers in next month’s data, too.
All up in the commercial rooftop solar sector, the 15-30kW segment was the only one to chart an average increase, nationally, in September.
The average size of rooftop solar system that consumers around the country are opting to install also increased over the month of September, rising back up to 8.63kW.