Seriously, how is 2016 panning out for you and your rooftop solar?
This year should be interesting for the renewable sector. Many have speculated that the investor freeze is thawing and with new policies which could alter where government funding is directed, things are getting a little shaken up, for better or worse. However, a somewhat more stable subsector is rooftop solar, something that doesn't require huge capital and risk management, and, more importantly, something for the homeowners, not the energy providers who sell large-scale solar power back to us at the same high rates. Instead, the rooftop solar industry is actually reducing or removing the cost of electricity from many families expenses. So it’s not surprising that we have seen over 100 MW installed in the last two months alone.
The Queensland Labor Government has made efforts to increase rooftop solar installations in years to come. Unfortunately, while Queensland is still leading the way, there was a 20% decrease in the number of installs completed January in February when compared with last year's average figures. However, Victoria has picked up the slack, overtaking NSW as the country's second largest economy for residential solar. Other states have seen a steady increase in installations while the NT still seriously lags behind. However, efforts are being made to help rural communities make the switch over to solar, as many are still heavily reliant on diesel fuel. Once the Northern Territory is on board, we could see a spike in our reliance on Solar PV, bringing us closer to meeting our 2020 emissions targets.
However, regulators have set a target of 760MW for 2016, so we will need to see an improvement in the coming months as right now if you do the very simple math, we are aiming for the 600MW range. Other subsectors show that utilities solar are predicted to see 450 MW installed in 2016 while Large Scale Solar is showing around 1.1 GW in the works. Though, there is still a large chance Australia will fail to meet its emission reduction targets meaning those still running off the grid will see a spike in prices. That is unless they are part of the predicted 760MW, meaning they could be getting in at just the right time before electricity prices really do go up.