It’s little wonder Australia’s electricity sector is becoming increasingly cagey about the home solar revolution – rooftop systems in the nation will generate many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of electricity at retail value over the next 12 months says Energy Matters.
According to figures Energy Matters sourced from the Clean Energy Regulator, 1,000,643 small solar power systems were installed in Australia as at April 5; with a collective total capacity of 2,461,696 kW.
Most of these systems would have been installed in the last few years and on average, each system works out to be around 2.4kW.
Given an average over a year of 4.5 sun hours a day, each of these systems would produce in the region of 10kWh of electricity daily.
This translates to an estimated 10,006,430 kWh a day generated by all small Australian solar power systems. Over a year, the figure would be 3,652,346,950 kWh.
Based on an average 25c/kWh retail electricity cost (day rates); these home solar power systems could generate as much as $913,086,737 worth of electricity over the next 12 months.
Even taking into account not every system in the nation is of good quality, has been installed by competent installers and the small amount of degradation that would have occurred in older systems; it would be reasonable to peg the retail value of the electricity generated by these systems to be at the very least $820 million; well over $2 million a day.
With a sea of rooftops across the country still begging for solar panels to be installed and thousands of residential projects in the pipeline, the 12-month electricity value will barrel past the $1 billion mark very soon – if it hasn’t done so already.
These figures and the important issue of Merit Order Effect also highlight the fact that all Australian households deserve a truly fair price for surplus electricity generated by rooftop solar power systems exported to the mains grid; which is not happening in all cases.
It wasn’t that long ago that some in the electricity generation sector piffled the idea that home solar and renewables generally would pose a threat to the status quo.
When it started becoming apparent the solar revolution would have an impact; the myths, sledging and sabotage began – but the revolution couldn’t be stopped.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi; “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,” – and the ultimate winners are the 1 million solar households across the nation who are not only striking a blow in the carbon emissions battle, but also slashing their power bills while helping support the thousands of Australians employed in the local renewable energy sector and their families.