Regulator Takes A Punt On 2022 Rooftop Solar Figures

Australian rooftop solar installations in 2022

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has estimated how much rooftop solar will be installed in Australia this year. All things considered, it’s a pretty impressive number.

The CER’s September Quarterly Carbon Market Report (QCMR) released yesterday indicates an estimated 729 megawatts of small-scale solar power systems were installed during the quarter, quite an uptick on earlier in 2022 and heading back towards to the very high Q3 level seen in 2021 (755 MW).

CER Chair David Parker noted more installations of rooftop solar systems occurred after an increase in enquiries by Australians looking to go solar that began in July.

If the current trend continues, the Regulator expects total installed capacity in 2022 will be about 2.7 gigawatts. But even with the big boost in the latter part of this year, it won’t be a record and will break a winning run. The record was set last year – a whopping 3.2 gigawatts made up of approximately 380,000 systems and the fifth record-breaking year.

Installed capacity in 2022 to the end of September totalled 1.9 GW; down 19% from 2021, but much better than the 27% decline in the first half the year.

The cumulative total of small scale solar installed in Australia as at the end of last year was around 17 gigawatts of capacity. Assuming the 2.7 gigawatts for 2022 is reached, we’ll be within spitting distance of 20. According to the data from the Clean Energy Regulator’s web site, the cumulative tally was around 18.2 gigawatts as at the end of September.

But that’s not all that would have been installed to that point. The Regulator compiles its figures based on STC creations – the bits of virtual paper that form the basis of Australia’s “solar rebate“. While the rebate is provided as an up-front subsidy, STCs can’t be created until a system is installed, and they can be created up to 12 months after the installation.

This means while we might get a pretty good estimation by late January of total capacity installed in 2022, it won’t be absolutely spot on – but near enough.

Electricity Prices Trigger Solar Rush

2022 was looking a bit ordinary for solar installation interest for much of the first half of this year – still reasonably healthy, but less so than previous years. The first signs of a rush began here on SolarQuotes during the tail end of  May rather than July; ahead of electricity price rises in July for many Australians.

This was followed by news trickling in of potentially more significant electricity price rises on the horizon, then a flood of it. This has sustained a much higher number of solar and battery quote requests here on SQ compared to earlier in the year.

In its report, the Clean Energy regulator notes:

“If retail energy prices increase next year to the level some are predicting, the average pay back period for a rooftop solar system could decline from about 4 years to 3 years, still making it an excellent investment.”

That’s good news, but simple payback periods vary greatly depending on a number of factors including location and energy consumption profile. To get a better idea of simple payback in your situation, try the SolarQuotes solar calculator.

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.

Comments

  1. George Kaplan says

    Completely unrelated to the above so probably won’t be published, but possibly still of interest to SQ:

    News from COP27 in Egypt suggests climate change alarmists will not be happy with the outcome.

    China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, is pushing for the 1.5°C limit to be raised to 2°C. Similarly, despite being the second largest economy in the world, China has explicitly said they will not be contributing any cash to compensate poorer countries for losses and damage caused by climate change, but that they support those calling for more action from wealthy nations, and that China too has suffered climate-linked weather extremes. If the world’s second largest economy is not a wealthy nation, what is?

    India, the 5th largest economy and 3rd largest greenhouse gas emitter, is also opposed to the proposed 1.5°C goal, questioning the scientific feasibility of it.

    Given at least 2 of the top 5 world’s greenhouse gas emitters and economies are opposing the 1.5°C goal, it seems likely to be unachievable. If all countries need to cut emissions by 50% for instance, and those opposing the 1.5°C goal comprise 40% of all emissions, the remaining countries need about a 90% cut to meet the goal, which is impossible.

    Similarly, if they support wealthy countries paying compensation to poorer countries but deny being wealthy countries, exactly which countries are being targeted? If it’s not on the basis of GDP but other criteria, is it even about wealth, or simply foisting the cost onto others?

    • Geoff Miell says

      George Kaplan,
      Given at least 2 of the top 5 world’s greenhouse gas emitters and economies are opposing the 1.5°C goal, it seems likely to be unachievable.

      Barring multiple nuclear weapons airbursts, major volcanic eruptions, &/or meteor surface impact event(s) here on Earth, compelling evidence I see indicates the Earth System will inevitably breach the +1.5 °C global mean surface temperature threshold, and likely do so before 2035.

      In the YouTube video titled SR Australia – Social and Earth System Tipping Points | Prof. Will Steffen + Dr. Nick Abel, published 3 Apr 2022, executive director of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute, Prof Will Steffen said from time interval 0:19:12:

      So, if you look at the projected temperature rise from the IPCC, by 2050 – middle of the century – thirty years out – even under the most, ah… drastic emission reduction scenario they assess, we’ll still hit 1.6 [°C]. This is dangerous territory. As I said before, we’re on track to reach somewhere around 2.7 to 3 [°C], by the end of the century. But these other scenarios will reach 2, or have reached 2 [°C], ah… at mid… even by 2050. So, um… the… Even the IPCC is saying we’re entering dangerous territory, unless we do something really drastic. So, it’s virtually certain that we will breach 1.5 [°C] before the… ah, before the middle of this century. Some people think even by 2035, we can reach 1.5 [°C].”

      We may see the 1st +1.5 °C threshold breach perhaps by 2024, if a strong El Niño emerges in 2023-24. See Fig 3 at: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2022/AugustTemperatureUpdate.22September2022.pdf

      The WMO stated: “…an even chance that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 will exceed 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
      https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/wmo-update-5050-chance-of-global-temperature-temporarily-reaching-15%C2%B0c-threshold

  2. Hi, will there ever ETSA allow V2H connection. Any views on this topic please.

  3. geoff brookes says

    George,

    On a per person basis Australians produce four times as much CO2 cf. Chinese people. Also we produce much more CO2 per person than Indian people.

    We also have incomes many times the level of Chinese and Indian people.
    Our personal wealth is enormous (mainly due to grossly inflated real estate values ) when compared to the above countries. Only 2~3% of people in India own a motor vehicle!

    Take a look around your situation. In my case my 29 solar panels, my cars, right down to the shoes on my feet were made in foreign countries. If I had to purchase only goods made here my lifestyle would be very different to what it is now. RM Williams might make great shoes but they start at $600!

    Nuclear Power is the only way we could hope to get a big reduction in emissions here. The problem is that we create reasons why Nuclear Power plants should not be built here. As a result we will remain about the only country in the G20 without them.

    Geoff.

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