2018: A Year of Solar Breakthroughs
2018 has been a great year for solar industry. In fact, this year is a record-breaking year for all the sectors in PV industry from small-scale solar to commercial sector. Before wrapping up 2018 with great breakthroughs and achievements, let’s look back all the significant milestones we have achieved this year.
The Emergence of Solar Programs
It’s a year that both federal and state governments have exerted an attention on solar needs of the people. Federal government have recently released initiatives that support battery storage & renewable energy which delivers cheaper and cleaner energy for the future. The program focuses on household battery storage which will offer $2,000 from the cost of batteries to 100,000 households from 2020, the start of a plan aiming for a new national target of one million household battery installations by 2025.
As per plan, the rebate is limited to one battery system per home and will not be available to households that have received subsidies from state schemes. The program will be reviewed after two years, given projected falls in battery costs and to assess progress towards Labor’s target of one million new battery installations by 2025.
Different states have released solar programs also this year as part of the labor government effort to promote renewable energy.
The first state which aggressively pushes for renewable energy is Queensland. Effective last August, the labor government provided three-related program that offer interest-free loans, grants or both to homes & small businesses interested in solar and/or battery storage.
Solar & battery affordability scheme are:
- Solar systems loans– Interest-free loans up to $4,500 for homes to purchase a solar system (to be repaid within 7 years)
- Loans and grants for battery systems– Grants of $3,000 (home or business) and interest-free loans up to $6,000 (homes only) repayable over 10 years
- Loans and grants for combined solar and battery systems– Grants up to $3,000 (home or business) or interest-free loans up to $10,000 (homes only – repayable over 10 years) to install combined solar & battery systems; around 1,000 assistance packages will be available
Victoria joined Queensland in creating affordable schemes for Aussies. They focus on residential batteries by providing A $40 million program and battery incentives up to $4,838 for up to 10,000 homes who already have solar in ‘growth areas’ where there are already large amounts solar connected to the grid. This battery incentive is one component of the larger $1.34 billion Solar Homes rebate.
On the other hand, South Australia have created a state-wide battery incentive that will provide $100 million in funds to support the installation of up to 40,000 home battery systems. This could include battery systems for up to 50,000 households on a mix of public housing and privately-owned properties.
Though the date of effectivity is yet to be set, New South Wales have introduced renewable energy initiatives that include smart energy for homes and businesses and smart batteries for key government buildings.
Recording-Breaking PV Months
Aside from the several number of solar incentive programs or scheme being launched from different states, the whole solar industry has been performing great since the first quarter of 2018. As of October 2018, Australia is in a record-breaking rate of 158MW which was 15% above the previous set in August.
As expected, Queensland led the ranking with monthly install of 2.27MW recorded. It easily beat the next best NSW as the hottest market in the country (1.75MW). Victoria also recorded a record monthly installation rate of 1.46MW in October, while W.A also posted a figure of 1.01GW, although it still trailed South Australia with .9GW.
Australia so far in 2018 has installed 7.74MW of rooftop solar, or more than 1.97 million homes and small businesses.
The increased growth in solar installs is obvious in the number of households choosing solar as their source of energy. To prove, it has passed the three million mark, according to the latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator, as homes and businesses continue to take the power back against rising energy costs.
(Source: Clean Energy Regulator)
The CER said that this new small-scale solar milestone had been boosted by increasing installs of households that showed one in five Australian homeowners are now generating their own power. Millions of small-scale solar systems had the consolidated capacity to produce – or in solar hot water’s case – around 12.9 million megawatt-hours of electricity a year.
The overall performance of Australia PV is not only brought by the increasing need and demand in the small home solar installs but also in commercial sector. With new data from the Australian PV Institute showing that there is a tremendous 35GW of solar farms in the nation’s planning and development pipeline, large-scale solar is on the right track in Australia this year. In its most recent annual report to the International Energy Agency, APVI says 2018 looks to be another record-breaking year for Australian solar PV, backed up by a booming huge solar market and “remarkable” financial fundamentals for commercial PV.
No doubt that Australia is in its peak and continue to boom in Solar PV industry from the number of solar installs, solar power generation and growing support from federal and state government. These milestones have been the result of unending support from different organizations and people behind its success which are mainly the customers or the actual users of solar energy. Benefits and advantages have been laid down well and it help a lot of Aussies to be convinced that clean energy is possible and can power each respective home.
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Parkinson, G. (2018, April 5). Australian rooftop solar boom rolls on – 351MW in first quarter. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-rooftop-solar-boom-rolls-on-351mw-in-first-quarter-26595/
Smee, B. (2018, May 14). Almost half of Australian big business moving to renewables. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/15/almost-half-of-australian-big-business-moving-to-renewables
Vorrath, S. (2018, June 21). Small solar installs pass 3 million mark in Australia. Retrieved from https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/small-solar-installs-pass-3-million-mark-australia/
Vorrath, S. (2018, July 5). Commercial solar boom delivers second-best rooftop PV month on record. Retrieved from https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/commercial-solar-boom-delivers-second-best-rooftop-pv-month-record
Vorrath, S. (2018, July 16). Australia has 35GW of solar farms in development pipeline. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-35gw-solar-farms-development-pipeline-36362/
Parkinson, G. (2018, November 4). Solar installations smash new record in October, all eyes on Vicroria. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-installations-smash-new-record-in-october-all-eyes-on-victoria-28197/