Victoria charts “dramatic plunge” in rooftop solar installs as Covid takes toll

Rooftop solar installations in Victoria have plunged dramatically over the past month, as strict stage four Covid-19 restrictions take their toll on the state’s PV industry.

The latest Insights report from industry analysts SunWiz shows Victoria dropping to a total of 31MW from August to September, down from total installs around the 60MW mark in July.

The huge drop is not unexpected, with new rooftop solar installations all-but ruled out completely during metropolitan Melbourne’s stage four restrictions, which were introduced at the beginning of August and are only just being wound back now.

That said, Victoria had been one of Australia’s best performing states, boosted by the state’s Solar Homes rebate scheme.

The dip in installations brings Victoria down to the lower but more steady levels set by South Australia and Western Australia, with around 32MW installed over the month.

Nationally, the Sunwiz report shows that the national market showed a slight rise in growth (0.4%) from August to September, maintaining the overall pace of installations despite Victoria’s detour.

A total of 250MW of new solar PV capacity was installed on Australia’s businesses and households nationally from August to September, as you can see in the chart above.

“After a slight rise in the capacity installed nationally, we remain 40 per cent ahead of the same time last year – a percentage that actually increased,” said SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston.

Top performing states New South Wales and Queensland went in the other direction to their southern neighbour, with total installed capacity rising to 84MW and 67MW, respectively.

South Australia also showed a slight uptick in installations – despite all the noise around inverter standard changes – to 32MW.

Elsewhere, SunWiz says the 10-20kW segment of rooftop solar system sizes noticed growth, while other system sizes maintained a steady state.

“All major states in 10-30kW segment grew, but most notable was NSW, QLD and SA. VIC plunged in both the segments,” said Johnston.

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