Australian National Photovoltaics Status Report

A recent report published by the Australian PV Association (APVA), prepared for the International Energy Agency, shows Australia experienced massive growth in the sector last year.
  
A total of 383 MW of solar panels were installed in Australia last year, a 480% increase over 2009.  99% of that figure is attributed to grid-connected solar, taking the cumulative grid-connect slice to 85%, up from 54% in 2009. By the end of 2010, the total installed capacity of PV based solar power systems in Australia was over 571 MW.
  
The APVA says the growth in 2010 was driven by a combination of support from the tail-end of the now defunct Solar Homes and Communities Program (SHCP), the newer Solar Credits program and feed-in tariffs; bolstered by a general price drop in solar panels and a more favourable exchange rate.
  
A total of AUD 641,3 million was spent by the Australian and State and Territory Governments on PV related research development, demonstration and market stimulation, with the latter making up the lion’s share of expenditure (78%), mostly going to rebates under the Solar Homes And Communities Plan.
  
In 2010, total Australian PV capacity as a percentage of total national electricity generation capacity amounted to just 1%; however, new PV capacity as a percentage of new electricity generation capacity was 20%. 
  
PV-related employment also grew significantly in Australia during 2010, with an estimated 6,000 system and installation companies in the nation by the end of last year. Collectively, the value of PV business in Australia during 2010; including off grid and grid connect, was 1.267 billion dollars.
  
The APVA is a collective of companies, agencies, individuals and academics with an interest in photovoltaic solar electricity research, technology, manufacturing, systems, policies, programs and projects and receives funding from the Australian Solar Institute.
  
The full report, entitled "PV In Australia 2010", can be viewed here (PDF).