Data from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) shows there were 50,592 small-scale renewable energy installations during the first quarter of 2018 across Australia. 41,611 (or 82 per cent) of these were small scale solar panel systems, 5,811 were solar water heaters, and the rest were air source heat pumps. The most common installation system size was 5-10kW, with average system capacity being 6.25kW.
Queensland is still leading, as previously, with over 12,000 installations done during the quarter, and NSW is not far behind. The top performing suburbs in these states were Caboolture and and Moree respectively. This was followed by Victoria where the top region was Clyde North, and Western Australia with Baldivis taking top position.
By comparison, there were 14,064 solar PV installations for the year in 2008, and only 118 in 2001. The driving forces behind the growth include the falling price of solar panels and the rising cost of grid power.
Small scale solar installation high growth regions for Q1
CER’s postcode data showed many regions experienced significant growth compared to the first quarter of 2017. Here are some examples.
- Mascot NSW, postcode 2020 – 101 percent increase.
- Werribee Victoria, postcode 3030 – 136 percent.
- Redcliffe Queensland, postcode 4020 – 165 percent.
- Henley Beach SA, postcode 5022 – 221 percent.
- Nedlands WA, postcode 6009 – 184 percent.
- Sandy Bay Tasmania, postcode 7005 – 17 percent.
Battery storage continues to grow
The data also shows that 909 of the installations had solar battery backup.
According to solar energy consultancy Sunwiz, Australia is becoming one of the top countries in the world for solar battery installations. This is because since 2016 the price of energy storage batteries has been tumbling and becoming much more affordable for householders. This price drop led to a trebling of battery installations during 2017 – from 6,750 to over 20,000.
When you install a battery system, such as the Tesla Powerwall, you get to store solar power you can’t use immediately for later use. It means you draw less power from the grid and you can reduce your electricity bills even further. So you could say with a solar battery that you are literally saving for a rainy day!