The amount of rooftop solar installed across Australia is expected to break through the 5-gigawatt mark this July. This will reach a significant milestone in a sector that was virtually non-existent in 2009 according to PV magazine.
New data released by solar consultancy and statistician Sunwiz shows that 64 megawatts of rooftop solar were added across the country last June which takes the national cumulative total to 4.964 gigawatts. With the current rates of solar installation, the 5-gigawatt threshold should be broken by next week or two weeks from now. The Australian solar market has slowed since its peak in 2012-2013 at the height of the premium feed-in-solar tariffs offered by the states.
Although there were setbacks, the market is still growing at around 700 megawatts to 800 megawatts every year and is expected to go up further as more households consider battery storage, specifically with a new flow in electricity bills due to the surging prices of petrol and gas-fired generation. Queensland is the state with most solar capacity giving 1.534 gigawatts, followed by New South Wales with 1.07 gigawatts and Victoria with 935 megawatts. Rooftop solar is now accounting for around 3% of total power consumption in Australia.
Plus, a recent report has also suggested that more than 1.5 million households and businesses have invested more than $8 billion in rooftop solar. It also stated that the savings are around $1billion per year on their electricity bills.
The forecast may differ regarding the future of rooftop solar PV, but the Bloomberg New Energy Finance is one of the most authorities when it comes to these matters. The firm predicts 38 gigawatts of rooftop solar by 2040. On the other hand, solar investor and financier Lighthouse Infrastructure, predicts 52 gigawatts of solar by the same year, although this includes large-scale installations.
Although coal covers a large percentage of energy provision, renewables will be a strong contender for many years to come.
Image credit: renew economy