November 1, 2018 Read More →

Australia on track to double solar capacity by 2020

Renew Economy:

Australia’s installed capacity of solar is expected to double to 18GW in the next two years as a wave of new large scale projects are completed and as households and businesses continue to turn to solar to reduce their electricity bills.

Industry statistician Sunwiz says Australia is recording record installations in both rooftop solar and large scale installations in 2018, with more 1.6GW installed until the end of September, nearly half from large scale solar. The annual total will be around 2.3GW to 2.4GW.

Green Energy Markets’s Ric Brazzale says he is expecting up to 4GW installed in 2018 alone, although that number depends on the speed of commissioning and could be lower if project completion is delayed.

By the end of 2020, Sunwiz says, the current capacity of 9GW is expected to double to 18GW, with another 4GW of large scale solar, another 4GW of small rooftop solar, and another 1GW of large rooftop solar installations (over 100kW). That would represent a doubling also in the share of renewables of delivered electricity from around 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

As we report elsewhere, another three big solar farms have joined the grid just in the past week – the largest solar installations in their respective states – South Australia (Bungala), Victoria (Bannerton) and NSW (Colleambally).

The question for many is the future of policy, both in large scale and small scale. The large scale renewable energy target (33,oooGWh) will be met by 2020, ending the obligation of big retailers to contract or build a certain amount of renewables, and the only state-based initiatives coming from Victoria and Queensland, and the growing corporate market.

More: Australia installed solar capacity to double to 18GW by 2020

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