More than one million solar panel systems have been installed on the rooftops of homes and businesses throughout the nation.
According to a Sydney Morning Herald article, the milestone was passed last month states an analysis by SunWiz Consulting; which found 1,011,478 systems had been installed by the end of March. This figure does not include solar hot water systems.
It wasn’t that long ago the 1 million mark seemed like a pipe dream – in 2001 only 118 Australian homes had solar panels installed.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics; between 2001 and 2011, Renewable Energy Certificate data shows the number of households installing solar power systems rose from 118 to 85,550 in 2009, then increased to 639,803 in 2011.
The growth in installations continues even in the face of reduced incentives due to a sharp decrease in the price of systems and continual increases in the cost of electricity.
According to national solar solutions provider Energy Matters, a 5kW system the company currently has on special can provide a financial benefit of up to $2,540 annually, depending on installation location.
However, the decrease in system costs may not go on forever. The situation could be rapidly reversed by due to currency exchange issues, such as that occurred during part of 2009 when a crash in the value of the Australian dollar saw prices for solar power rise substantially for a period.
Additionally, last month we reported the possibility of the cost of solar panels rising after four prices rises from PV manufacturers shipping into Australia were noted.
Another threat to record low pricing is the possible reduction in the value of government incentives, currently worth more than $1,600 depending on the size of the system and location of installation.