November 6, 2018 Read More →

Solar installations surge across Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald:

For Amit Narang, an IT expert working for NSW Health, the choice to put solar panels on his roof was partly to cut carbon emissions but mostly because the financials had become conclusive. By his calculation, the family’s annual electric bill will dive from $1400 to $400, a compelling enough case that has two colleagues looking to take a similar plunge into PV.

And why not? With power prices doubling in a decade, and with few signs of retreating and panel prices sinking, “you’d be mad not to put solar on”, said Renate Egan, an associate professor at the University of NSW. “It’s become super-competitive.”

Last month saw a spike in installations in Victoria and NSW, with both overtaking Queensland. All three topped 35 megawatts of new capacity. Nationwide, the 158MW of rooftop solar added in October eclipsed all previous months and ensured 2018 would easily top other years.

“There are records falling everywhere,” Warwick Johnston, managing director of SunWiz, said.

Adding in large-scale solar farms that are springing up across the nation, Australia connected 1560MW of PV in the September quarter alone. That total exceeded the capacity plugged in during all of 2017 – itself the previous record year – according to Dr Egan.

Consumers are also gearing up systems with an eye on future purchases of batteries – to store excess electricity rather than export it to the grid as feed-in tariffs dwindle – and electric cars. As many as 17 per cent of PV owners now include batteries, pushing storage orders nationally towards a record 30,000 units this year, SunWiz’s Mr. Johnston said.

By the end of 2018, about 2 million households will have panels and huge potential remains. Just 29 per cent of suitable homes in NSW have PV and 27 per cent in Victoria, according to SunWiz.

More: ‘Records falling everywhere’: solar panel demand goes through the roof

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