Small-scale solar installation in Australia is suffering from a decline as networks and utilities fight back to regain customers.
Australia has come a long way in its drive to use clean energy, specifically through solar installations.
In February, it has reached an incredible milestone after 1.5 million solar systems were installed. As of November, 1.6 million small-scale solar installations are already running to benefit not just households and businesses but also the environment.
The sun has always been gracious in this side of the world. No wonder the country has become one of the leaders in solar energy use. However, data from the Clean Energy Regulator reveal a downward trend in solar use.
Decline in small-scale solar installations
2011 was one of the best years for solar power in Australia. More than 360,000 small-scale solar systems were installed. After that peak, the number of installations declined.
In 2014, the country had an additional 180,139 systems. Last year, it was down to 141,333. The current year still has two months to see if the 90,000 systems installed would grow to surpass last year.
The decline has been attributed to the sudden decrease in electricity demand. The networks and utilities also staged aggressive efforts to win back customers after they’ve lost so much to renewables.
Small-scale PV installations in states
Small-scale PV installations have hit a collective capacity of more than 5,000 MW. So far, rooftop solar was able to produce 10 per cent of Australia’s total generation capacity for most of 2016.
Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria Western Australia, and South Australia are the top five states in terms of the cumulative number of PV systems according to the Clean Energy Regulator. Queensland leads with 489,517 followed by New South Wales with 347,353 solar PV systems.
Australia’s solar rooftop market has not enjoyed the growth it experienced in 2011 but the number of installations is still impressive and shows a lot of potential for the solar market.