Australian householders are choosing to “max out” their rooftop solar energy systems with as many solar panels as they can fit, a new report claims.
According to Green Energy Markets (GEM), this has subsequently caused a classification shift. Systems of 10-15 kW are now classed as residential systems rather than commercial.
This is because the falling price of solar panels has encouraged increasing numbers of residents to install rooftop solar systems of up to 20 kW capacity. These would once have been small business installations.
Installation figures for February show 2018 is also on track to be a record-breaking year for rooftop solar systems.
GEM data reveals February almost beat November 2017 in terms of new rooftop solar capacity. November stands as the record-setting month for rooftop solar installations.
2018 set to break records for rooftop solar energy systems
The GEM figures show 117.4 MW of solar capacity installed in February 2018. This is against a total installation figure of 1000 MW (1 gigawatt) last year.
GEM director Tristan Edis dubbed the figures “extraordinary” despite the fact some jobs may be an overspill from 2017. He claims 2018 is off to a great start in terms of solar installations.
The market is also well ahead of where it was this time last year, Mr Edis told PV Magazine.
February’s installed capacity tops any previous February. This makes it the best-ever yearly start for installation of residential solar power.
Because February had only 20 working days, the installation figures for the month are all the more remarkable. According to Mr Edis, the existing record-breaker, November 2017, had 22 working days to push up its total.
Householders reap benefit of next-generation solar panels
The falling price of solar panels combined with their increased capacity is proving irresistible to consumers.
Today’s next-generation solar panels have significantly more capacity than their predecessors. For example, solar systems installed around 10 years ago tended to be 1-1.5 kW.
Because solar panels currently on the market are so affordable and efficient, increasing numbers of householders are seeking solar quotes to cash in on the rooftop solar installation opportunities.
As battery prices continue to fall, industry observers also anticipate a battery storage boom equivalent to the sudden solar panel uptake of 2007-08.