More than 200,000 sub-100kW systems set to be installed in 2018

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The extent of the stellar growth of the Australian residential and small-commercial rooftop market continues to be reinforced by each new set of figures. Data from the first six months of 2018 reveals that 101,000 small-scale systems were installed, for a capacity of 702 MW.

The figures show that at the current installation rate, a mid-sized gas plant’s worth of generating capacity is being added to Australian homes and small businesses every six months.

Green Energy Markets provided its data to pv magazine Australia, which is sourced from the Clean Energy Regulator and collected under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

The rooftop solar run-rate between January and June of 2018 far exceeds the same period last year, and doubles that of 2016 – in terms of generating capacity.

Evidence of the increased size of system that is being installed on Australian homes is evident in the GEM data. In the first six months of 2016, 61,000 PV arrays were installed on Australian homes, for a capacity of 324 MW. While 40,000 more systems were installed in the same period two years later, the combined capacity of those systems has more than doubled – to 701.86 MW.

On a state-by-state basis, Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) are emerging as the two leaders, with the states in close competition for achieving the highest installation rate. For the first six months of 2018, NSW came out in front, adding more than 183.5 MW of small-scale solar. Queensland was not far off, with 176.2 MW. Victoria (135.6 MW), WA (100.1 MW), and SA (80.4 MW) round out the major states.

The trend of more than 100 MW of monthly capacity being added in sub-100kW systems looks set in 2018. May saw the greatest capacity added, with 128 MW, followed by June (126 MW), March (123 MW), February (114 MW), January (106 MW), and April (104 MW).

While soaring demand for rooftop solar will keep installers and suppliers happy for now, Green Energy Markets Director of Analysis and Advisory Tristan Edis provides a reminder that under the current National Energy Guarantee design, rooftop PV will be left out in the cold.

“Behind the meter solar is about to get zero recognition for abatement it delivers under the proposed NEG design,” Edis tells pv magazine Australia.