Rooftop solar stays on track for record year, despite slow April

Australian households and businesses installed another 270MW of rooftop solar in April, delivering the first market contraction for the year, albeit to a level that remained more than 20 per cent higher than the same time last year.

In the latest market data from industry analysts SunWiz, rooftop PV installations fell by 14.8 per cent from an all time high of 317MW in March, a break in growth not unexpected during a month interrupted by various public holidays, including the Easter break.

The result, said SunWiz – not without irony – was that “this year’s April volume was ‘only’ 20% higher than last year’s April (225MW), which indicates a modest slowing of growth this month.”

“Although a contraction is observed for the month of April above the market still shows a 23% lead over the same time last year for registered volume,” said SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston.

SunWiz notes that a contraction in new rooftop solar capacity was experienced in all states and territories except for Tasmania, which held steady in the single digits somewhere between the Northern Territory and the ACT, as you can see in the chart below.

The greatest downturns were charted in the eastern states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, with 89MW, 60MW and 64MW added, respectively. South Australia added 21MW in April, while Western Australia added 29W.

SunWiz reports that the contribution from the commercial rooftop market held steady in the eastern states, but continued on a downward trajectory in SA and WA. In NT, Tasmania and the ACT, meanwhile, there was an increase in the number of commercial PV projects compared to other segments.

Within the commercial installs, capacity registered over April held steady for the 30-75kW size segment, while on either side the smaller end of the market (15-30kW) experienced an upturn and the higher (>75kW) experienced a downturn.

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