Market update: strong demand continues

Sold out! Three days is all it took for Victoria to fill its monthly quota of 3,333 rebates under the Solar Homes package. By noon on Wednesday there were just 508 rebates of $2,225 for rooftop PV up for grabs, by COB Thursday, none – all gone. The speed of take-up is unprecedented and welcomed by the industry which was left in limbo when the scheme was placed on hold in April.

And the state is delivering on its promise for bigger and better, introducing a four year interest-free repayment plan for the amount equivalent to the rebate, as well as a $4,838 rebate on battery storage. Five days into the month storage is not showing quite the momentum of rooftop solar, but it’s early days.

The rebate of up to $1,000 on solar hot water systems remains on offer.

At 9pm on July 3, Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio tweeted: “There’s been a huge response to our Solar Homes rebate release with July’s allocation of 3,333 rooftop solar rebates fully subscribed.”

Before reassuring consumers: “Plenty of rebates are still available for rental properties, solar hot water and batteries. The program will re-open for applications on 1 August.”

The 1,000 rebates of up to $4,838 for a solar battery system are available to people in designated (ie growth) suburbs who have already installed solar panels, but have not already accessed a solar rebate.

Earlier this week Solar Victoria’s Acting Chief Executive, Jonathan Leake, advised that Solar Victoria is adopting a “risk-based approach” by inspecting up to 5 per cent of all solar installations benefiting from rebates under the program and introducing an unannounced inspection program by WorkSafe Victoria and Energy Safe Victoria during installation.

“This program supports good solar businesses and installers who are doing the right thing,” he stated.

Victoria’s strong solar PV uptake is contributing to this year’s record-breaking rate of installations. The month of May brought the highest monthly level of installed capacity since the scheme commenced, with 185 MW of solar small-scale generation units.

According to Green Energy Markets May installed capacity was a healthy 19 per cent above year-to-date monthly average. Until May, November 2018 held the record high at 172 MW.

June data is not due out until next week.

In other GEM highlights:

For the year to the end of May, installed capacity reached 806 MW.

At the end of May, the 2019 year to date average weekly (net) STC creation rate was 643,600; 13 per cent above the 2019 Target's weekly requirement of 569,000.

Small-scale technology certificates representing 24,933 PV systems and 185 MW of capacity were submitted in May; up on April figures by 24 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

NSW registered the highest number of PV systems (6,640) followed by Queensland (6,151). Both states were boosted by an uptick in the residential market which saw residential system numbers increase by 34 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

Victoria registered 11.57 MW of commercial installed capacity; the highest monthly level for commercial installed capacity by a state since the scheme began.

STCs representing 6,744 solar water heater systems were created in May; 49 per cent above April figures. Year-to-date SWH systems at the end of May reached 25,829 which is 5 per cent greater than the same time last year (24,579).