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Solar PV installation figures bumped up

29th Aug 2012

Hot off the back of recent statistics showing Australia installed the most rooftop solar PV systems in the world last year is news that this year's figures are shaping up nicely as well.

Green Energy Markets (GEM), an organisation that tracks how many systems are being put in place through the amount of energy certificates generated, has revised its previous predictions for this year upwards.

According to sustainable energy news provider REneweconomy, GEM now believes capacity will reach 787 MW rather than the 736 MW it estimated earlier.

While this doesn't quite hit the lofty heights of the 863 MW registered in 2011, it shows solar PV remains popular in the country and that rumours of a slowdown in the sector seem unfounded. 

GEM made the revisions after Queensland revealed it would be lowering its 44 cent feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme. Apparently, this caused a surge in applications for solar energy systems.

And the state is tipped to be a heavy hitter in the solar sector this year, with a whopping 33 per cent of all installations nationwide expected to be delivered to homes in Queensland during 2012-13.

This comes to around 100,000 systems, with GEM estimating that approximately 322,000 solar PV technologies will be put on rooftops in total during the 12-month period.

However, there could be room for more adjustments to the statistics down the line, with rumours abound that Victoria may also be considering reducing the cost of its FIT initiative.

The state has a transitional FIT scheme priced at 25 cents/kWh, which has been in place since January 2012 for systems up to 5 kW.

While it has a limit of 75 MW, the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission has released a draft report suggesting the project be expanded past the interim stage and into a fully functioning FIT program.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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