Queensland’s solar dominance

New figures highlight Queensland’s influence on the PV market, as Australians continue to embrace solar.

In January the Clean Energy Regulator released its quarterly data on the number of solar systems creating Renewable Energy Certificates. The data includes certificates created to January 2, 2013 and includes installations up until the end of November 2012. As agents have 12 months from the date of system installation to create certificates, the number of monthly installations from January 2012 to date is currently understated.

A total of 1.7 million solar systems (PV and solar water heaters) have created certificates to date. Installed PV capacity across Australia is now in excess of 2,150 MW.

A summary of the data is included in Table 1 below. We expect that the level of PV installed in 2012 that will eventually create certificates will be approximately 980 MW. This will mean that cumulative PV installations to end 2012 will be 2,280 MW.

Table 1 – Solar installations creating certificates

Data as at 2 January 2013 for installations to end November 2012.

Drilling down into the solar PV data shows that:

-- Queensland has dominated the level of installations in Australia, amounting to more than 41 per cent of capacity installed in 2012. In the third quarter of 2012 Queensland installations reached 45 per cent. (Refer to Figure 1.)

-- The average size of PV systems installed has been progressively increasing, having averaged 2.9kW per system so far in 2012 compared to 2.42kW per system in 2011. In the second half of 2012 average system sizes were above 3kW.

-- Interestingly the average size of PV systems in WA and NSW is considerably lower than in other states, which may well reflect the lower feed-in tariffs applying for much of 2012.

Figure 1 – Solar PV installations – focus on Queensland

Figure 2 – Increasing solar PV capacity per system (larger states)

To access the CER data click here.

This article was originally published on the Green Energy Trading blog.