Newman's accidental solar boom

In slashing the Queensland solar PV feed-in tariff, it appears Premier Newman has inadvertently induced a solar PV boom. In order to get in before the cut-off date for the 44c feed-in tariff, there has been a rush of applications running at 1.4 megawatts per hour over the past 13 days.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman must have one hell of a solar hangover today.

Following his announcement to cut the 44 cent net feed-in tariff, he provided the industry and solar consumers with a window of opportunity to sign up before the scheme was switched to 8 cents – and sign up they did.

Energex reported this morning that 75,000 applications were received in the 13 days between the 26th of June and the 9th of July.

Broadly speaking, this is equivalent to around 12 applications per minute and 150MW of new capacity (at an average system size of 2kW).

Assuming standard eight hour working days, Premier Newman effectively added 1.4MW of generation capacity per hour, to the sunshine state's energy generation capacity.

Show me any other generation source that could achieve that, and I’ll eat my solar-powered hat.

Energex also noted however, that 31,000 (or 62MW) of those applications were received in a single day.

That is an astonishing 1.07 applications per SECOND or 7.8MW per hour on the final day.

Of course, it has to be processed and installed and there is up to one year to do that. But my guess is that to maximise economies of scale Queensland installers will gear up and veraciously install the majority of this new capacity within six months or so.

Put in a state context, he just avoided the need for roughly 3.9TWh of coal fired energy over the next 20 years. At a conservative energy cost of $0.20/kWh, Queensland electricity consumers just started down the road to savings of approximately $39 million per year.

(Inadvertently) nice work, Premier Newman.

This article was originally published by SolarBusinessServices. Republished with permission.

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