That solar is reducing the cost of wholesale electricity is not new news in itself – but now a figure has been put on the savings.
Solar PV ranks highly in the Merit Order of electricity generation in some peak conditions; being cheaper than coal and gas.
At times when wholesale electricity costs from ‘traditional’ sources can eclipse $10,000 per megawatt-hour; surplus solar electricity is being exported to the mains grid for as little as $80 per megawatt hour.
Centre for Policy Development’s sustainable economy research director Laura Eadie says Australia’s rooftop solar power systems are saving between $300 million and $670 million each year in wholesale electricity costs; which could be reducing household power bills if electricity retailers pass the savings on to consumers.
According to an article on NewsMail, Ms Eadie’s report also states solar households were more energy-aware; which not only reduces their own electricity costs, but also helps to further lighten the load on the mains grid network.
Australia’s million-plus solar households have collectively become a massive power station; with total capacity of 2,461,696 kW of solar panels on the nation’s rooftops as at early this month.
According to figures from solar provider Energy Matters, Australia’s small-scale solar power systems could generate over $900 million worth of electricity over the next 12 months; based on an average 25c/kWh retail electricity cost.
While solar has been demonised in the past courtesy of myths perpetuated from certain corners, it’s becoming increasingly clear the scapegoating has been misdirected and solar’s net effect on Australia’s electricity infrastructure is a boon; not a blight.
Assuming satisfactory conditions and policies; residential and commercial-scale solar energy will continue its ascent in Australia and help to not only slash the power bills of millions more, but also play a greater role in reducing the nation’s carbon emissions and support thousands of Australian families through employment in the sector.