June A Bumper Month For Small Scale Solar In Australia

June solar installations in Australia

Image: plonk66

June was another busy period for the Australian rooftop solar installation sector, but not quite as hectic as May.

Green Energy Markets’ Renewable Energy Index reports 17,320 small-scale solar systems were installed during June, compared to 18,917 in May (down 8.5%). The June result was significantly higher than in April (15,896).

“Small-scale” refers to not only residential installs, but also commercial solar installations under 100kW capacity.

Here’s how the states stacked up:

Rooftop solar installations - statistics

Rooftop solar employed 5,955 people last month and the systems installed will deliver an estimated $222 million in bill savings over a ten-year period says the report.

Installation figures for the next few months could be quite interesting given uncertainty over the National Energy Guarantee’s impact on the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRS) and the ACCC’s recommendation to axe Australia’s solar subsidy (aka the “solar rebate“) prematurely. Whenever the subsidy has been seriously threatened previously, Australians reacted by installing more solar given the “rebate” can knock thousands off the cost of a system.

To beat last July’s figures, this month’s installations will need to exceed 14,466.

Australian Renewable Energy In June – The Bigger Picture

Concerning renewables generally, Green Energy Markets reports enough renewable energy was generated in June to power 9.2 million homes and avoid 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. 20.2% of the electricity generated in Australia’s main grids in June was renewables-sourced.

The June Index states Tasmania and South Australia are heading towards a situation where both states could generate more renewables-based electricity than they could consume, while New South Wales is at risk of falling short of 20% renewables by 2020 – but only just (19.7%).

In Victoria, the state is on track to seeing renewables making 39.4% of the state’s electricity mix by 2020 – a big jump from just 17.7% share in 2015. This puts it well ahead of the first Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) of 25% by that year. It wasn’t that long ago (2008-09) that close to 95 per cent1 of the state’s electricity generation was based on the filthiest of fossil fuels – brown coal.

As for Queensland, while the reign of Campbell Newman held the state back in terms of large-scale renewables, enough renewable projects are in the pipeline now to generate electricity equivalent to more than 90% of consumption in 2030.

Green Energy Markets’ Renewable Energy Index – June 2018 can be viewed in full here (PDF).

Footnotes

  1. Australian Energy Statistics, Department of the Environment and Energy
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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