December 2019’s solar installation rush solidifies huge national total

December 2019’s solar installation rush solidifies huge national total

Across 2019, small-scale rooftop installations for solar panels reached a whopping 2.13GW – an increase of 35 per cent from 2018. This comes after a record spike in December.

According to Sunwiz, 220MW of these installations were carried out in December alone, which is nearly 10 per cent above previous records across both October and November. The activity is unusual because installation rates tend to slow down towards the Christmas period.

The boom across December created a total of 10.2 gigawatts installed across Australia, all placed on approximately 2.3 million various buildings. Most of these were residential.

Additionally, it’s not expected that the boom will subside anytime soon, with the Clean Energy Regulator, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Federal Government all expecting a goal of 25GW by the end of 2030.

What are small-scale installations?

In the world of solar energy, rooftop panels that are 100kW or less are considered small-scale. They also qualify for an upfront rebate (which are going through changes and being reduced each year; they will be eliminated by 2030). Larger systems operate under an entirely different program alongside utility-scale developments.

In 2019, both small and large-scale systems reached 3.3GW, according to Sunwiz. However, large-scale rates have yet to be calculated. In 2018, the total was 3.6GW.

Across this trend, NSW led the charge, demonstrating new records across small-scale rooftop systems. They were then followed by QLD and Victoria. 

Source: Data from Sunwiz.

Overall, QLD still remains the forerunner in the race, with an overall 2.9GW of small-scale installations, followed by NSW at  2.4GW and Victoria at 1.99GW. 

Additionally, the average size of these systems has grown to 8kW, mostly due to the growing demand from small to medium-sized businesses. Across a variety of industries in Australia, sectors are starting to adopt cleaner energy sources – this mostly being solar – to slash the costs on their electricity bills.

Clean Energy Regulator expects big numbers in 2020

Back in October 2019, the Clen Energy Regulator attributed climbing rates to state schemes that are designed to help increase the number of installations.

“However, they are not the only driver. Short payback periods, electricity prices, low interest rates and strong consumer demand are key drivers,” the website stated. Additionally, falling prices mean the upfront cost of systems is less of a pressure for consumers, meaning home and business owners are becoming more likely to chose solar PV to help meet their energy requirements.

It’s expected these trends will only further solidify themselves in the market across 2020.

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