2017 Shaping Up to Be a Banner Year for Australia's Solar Industry

Posted by Author 9 months ago

Good news, Australia! The Land Down Under is headed towards its banner year due to the boom in the large-scale market and a home solar and storage market, according to a report.


The Climate Council’s State of Solar 2016 revealed that the costs of technology went down and investment went up, making solar as the cheapest form of new large-scale power generation.


The cost of solar took a plunge in five years with a 58 percent decrease and is currently being predicted to continuously fall down between 40 and 70 percent by 2040.


Moreover, the report cited that solar plants are being able to provide electricity that has lower costs compared to new coal, gas or nuclear. The current price, however, is around $110/MWh, but it is expected to go lower, “significantly”, as time goes by.


In contrast to solar costs, the generation source being championed by the Turnbull government, new coal power, is currently on the rise. The report revealed that new coal costs are currently at $160/MWh and is being expected to double with the added carbon capture and storage technology.


Australia has experienced a lot of false starts on large-scale solar but now the country is experiencing a rise in development with 20 projects coming online in 2017 and a 3700MW in the works.


In line with this, the Climate Council predicts that in the next 20 years, Australia will be able to go over 20GW of solar PV, which is roughly equal to a third of current total power generation capacity of Australia.


Not only that, the distributed solar market is also moving towards growth as installations of rooftop PV and battery storage systems for residential and commercial areas are being seen to go up over the course of the year.


There more than 6,500 Australian households already have a solar and storage system installed at the present time, according to the report.


South Australia and Queensland are competing in the ring to be hailed of having top installation rates rooftop solar as both contenders have reached 30 percent of households with PV.


Meanwhile, in WA there are already 24 percent of households that have solar PV systems installed, then followed by Victoria and New South Wales with 15 percent. The report said that the average small-scale solar system size is 5.34kW.


“Australia adds more solar power every year than the combined capacity of South Australia’s (recently closed) Northern and Playford coal-fired power stations,” the report says via cleantechnica.


In terms of employment, the study said roughly 8000 Australians are in the solar sector, which boasts an employment of 2.8 million worldwide.


With the rise of solar energy and the downfall of its prices, more and more people can have access to renewable energy, giving them a long-term investment that helps save the environment. Solar outsourcing services should pay attention to this rise and be prepared for the companies in need of employees to accommodate the influx of customers.