TUESDAY 14 AUGUST, 2012 |
South Australians Increasingly Turning To Solar Energy
South Australia's annual electricity consumption has decreased significantly,
thanks in part to home solar power systems.
A report recently released by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
states South Australia's consumption of mains grid supplied power decreased by
approximately 5% (700 GWh) in 2011-12 and is around 10% lower than forecast.
The AEMO now forecasts consumption to grow by just 0.9% over the next
Aside from consumer response to skyrocketing electricity prices, one of the
factors leading to the consumption reduction is the uptake of rooftop solar
power systems in South Australia
Among the National Electricity Market (NEM) regions, South Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop
solar panels, with approximately one out of five SA homes having installed
systems by the end of February this year - representing a total capacity
of 267 MW.
In 2011-12, residential solar panel installations are estimated to have generated 306 GWh
of electricity in South Australia says the AEMO, which is equivalent to 2.4% of South
Australia's annual energy.
While 20% of the state's residential rooftops now sport solar panels, the future
is continuing to look bright for South Australia's solar industry.
The AEMO forecasts rooftop PV-generated electricity will increase to 900 GWh by
2021-22 under a moderate uptake scenario and over a 10-year outlook period, the average annual growth rate of rooftop
solar panel installations is forecast to be approximately 8%.
South Australia's electricity prices jumped by a massive 17% on August 1 last
year and rose an additional 18% recently. With the state's solar feed in tariff
incentives currently totalling 25.8c per kilowatt hour minimum; it means a 5kW solar
panel system installed in Adelaide
and in many other areas of the state can
often wipe out a household's electricity bill altogether according to data from
solar provider Energy Matters
Payback time on such a system currently on offer by Energy Matters is
approximately 5.5 years; after which, the system will continue to generate what
is essentially free electricity for decades; with perhaps only the solar
inverter needing replacing during that time.
The 2012 South Australian Electricity Report can be viewed
in full here
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