More users of renewable energy, growth in small-scale solar power industry

The future looks bright for the small-scale solar power industry as more and more households and businesses are taking interest in installing power panels on their rooftops than ever before.

According to the Clean Energy Regulator’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy data, a record 3.5 million panels were installed in 2017 across all Australian states and territories, equating to 9,500 panels every day.

More than 1057 megawatts of capacity was added through small-scale systems installed last year, giving the equivalent output of a medium-sized coal-fired power station. The figure for last year is expected to rise to 1,070MW when all the data is collected.

The data also revealed that the average system size has also doubled over the past five years since 2012 from three to six kilowatts as average prices continued to fall.

Clean Energy Regulator executive general manager Mark Williamson says the consumers are embracing renewable energy in a bid to take control of their electricity bills.

A fully installed 5KW system costs an average of $5,930 in Australia, according to the energy broker Solarchoice. Its records show that the price has roughly halved in many capital cities since 2012.

“The data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator in 2017 reflects the industry is going from strength to strength. It looks like 2018 will be another big year for the solar industry,” he remarked.

In 2017, there was a 41 per cent increase in installed renewable energy capacity across all states and territories compared to 2016. Queensland led the way with installed capacity at 295 megawatts, with the Australian Capital Territory taking top place for biggest annual increase, up 57 per cent.