How saturated is Aussie solar?

Australia reaching one million solar rooftops created quite the media stir, but there were several insights missed. Specifically, which states are leading the way and how saturated is the Australian market?

The Clean Energy Regulator released the latest data of solar system installations by postcode in early April and advised that more than one million solar PV systems have been installed and created renewable energy certificates.

The data released relates to solar systems that have been installed and have created certificates to April 5, 2013. (As agents have 12 months from the date of installation to create certificates, the most recent month’s data is not representative of the final level of installations for the month.)

Achieving the one million PV system milestone was well covered by the media, however there were a number of other interesting insights that we can draw from the data. In this blog we cover some interesting insights relating to solar PV. We will follow this blog with another to focus, and share insights on the SWH market.

1. The size of solar PV installations has been growing throughout 2012 across all key states. This trend seems to have been arrested in 2013 with systems sizes stabilising and now starting to reduce slightly. 

Graph for How saturated is Aussie solar?

2. Queensland’s market share is starting to fall after dominating installations in 2012 with 38 per cent of total installations.

So far in 2013 Queensland has accounted for only 30 per cent of installs, still well above its share of total dwellings of 20 per cent. Systems that are eligible for the attractive feed-in-tariff under the solar bonus scheme are still being installed and we expect that Queensland’s market share will progressively reduce over the course of 2013. 

Graph for How saturated is Aussie solar?

3. Having one million solar PV systems installed and creating certificates amounts to 11.5 per cent of all (8.7 million) dwellings in Australia having PV. Approximately 63.7 per cent of dwellings are owner occupied and detached or semi-detached, which means that the PV saturation rate of suitable dwellings was 18 per cent.

Of particular interest is that South Australia has the highest saturation rate at 30 per cent followed by Queensland at 28 per cent. The states with the largest population, NSW and Victoria, have saturation rates of 14 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Graph for How saturated is Aussie solar?

Ric Brazzale, Managing Director, Green Energy Trading.