Australian news, and some related international items

Ever-growing boom in rooftop solar energy in New South Wales

community solarSolar usage through the roof in South West Daniel Mercer – The West Australian on June 16, 2016, 

Almost one-quarter of households in WA’s biggest power grid have rooftop solar panels, according to a report that predicts production from the systems will more than double within 10 years.

In its first snapshot of the South West electricity market since getting responsibility for it last year, the Australian Energy Market Operator will today report that the number of solar panels had trebled in six years.

AEMO said there were 180,000 customers with solar panels across the network from Kalbarri to Kalgoorlie and south to Albany, compared with 165,000 a year ago and just 60,000 in 2011.

Though the latest figure represents more than 18 per cent of State-owned power provider Synergy’s entire customer base, the percentage of households with solar cells is even bigger.

AEMO says 22.5 per cent of South West network households have a system, making WA third for solar panels behind Queensland and South Australia.

The Melbourne-based body also found households and businesses were using bigger systems with the average size of new installations doubling over five years to 4.5kW.

AEMO said the growth rate in solar panel installations in WA was unlikely to slow as prices fell, electricity tariffs rose and subsidies continued. It said the amount of electricity solar panels generated would almost treble between 2016-17 and 2025-26.

One consequence would be flatter demand from the grid as more people generated electricity. With battery storage developing rapidly, the shift from grid power could accelerate with cost implications for customers unable or unwilling to use solar.

June 17, 2016 - Posted by | New South Wales, solar

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