The facts on an Australian PV growth explosion

The latest growth forecasts from AEMO on solar PV predict a massive uptake in coming years and now we wait for the federal government to get on board.

Now I’m really, really excited.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has published a new report (Rooftop PV Information Paper 2012) predicting massive acceleration in the uptake of PV, contradicting the federal government’s own forecasts.

AEMO has two core operational roles: power system operator and market operator. AEMO delivers an array of gas and electricity market, operational, development and planning functions. It manages the National Electricity Market and the Victorian gas transmission network. AEMO also facilitates electricity and gas full retail contestability, overseeing these retail markets in eastern and southern Australia. It is additionally responsible for national transmission planning for electricity and the establishment of a Short Term Trading Market for gas.

So in terms of regulatory ‘punch’ and ‘influence’, it has loads of it.

The AEMO Rooftop PV Information Paper 2012 was recently, quietly released and I eagerly await a response from government acknowledging how wrong its forecasts were, and how serious the business of solar is.

The report was produced after AEMO commissioned extensive modelling by SolarBusinessServices and Sunwiz consulting.

In its own Energy White Paper, the government predicted a mere 2.8GW of cumulative solar uptake (predominately from large scale CSP) by 2031. AEMO is now predicting around 4.3 times higher uptake, or 12GW, in its moderate scenario; and almost 6.5 times more (18GW) in its aggressive uptake scenario.

And remember, this is just the rooftop PV contribution; it excludes the massive potential for other great technologies such as CST and CPV, which undoubtedly provide significantly more too.

In an even more significant blow to the government’s PV forecasting credibility, it should be noted that one of AEMO’s own stated priorities is “managing power system security”. They are all about understanding and mitigating risk in interruptions to the vast majority of Australia’s energy supply.

AEMO’s forecasts and role in energy security are now also in direct contradiction to the Australian Strategic Policy Institutes (ASPI) December 2011 report, ‘Keeping the Home Fires Burning; Australia’s Energy Security’.

In its report the ASPI make a series of factually incorrect, staggeringly erroneous predictions about PV’s capability, lack of relevance, attractiveness and affordability which have now been exposed by the AEMO for the biased tripe that they are.

The ASPI sees a role for itself in considering energy security and says it is “an independent, non-partisan policy institute, established by the (Howard) government to provide fresh ideas on Australia’s defence and strategic policy choices.”

Fresh? No. Factual? No. Unbiased? It would appear not.

The release of this report vindicates much of the forecast work that SolarBusinessServices have been espousing for some time now, along with many other industry and non-industry pundits.

Solar PV is going to grow at a highly significant rate in Australia.

KPMG believes it it.

McKinsey believes it it.

The International Energy Agency believes it.

And now, the Australian Energy Market Operator believes it.

Message to our government (present and future); get on board or get out of the way – PV is on its way.

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

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