PV market strength

The community is demonstrating greater support for renewable energy with the small-scale PV market going from strength to strength. In April this year total installations stood at 146 MW which is 11 per cent above the April 2018 tally of 131 MW, according to Green Energy Markets.

GEM’s Monthly Solar Snapshot also revealed that year-to-date installed capacity of 624 MW is 40 per cent higher than this time last year, which came in at 446 MW and in itself was twice that of two years ago, 2017, when 290 MW of capacity had been added in the first four months.

The Easter break and Anzac Day public holiday meant fewer trading days in April and this was highlighted by the level of Small-scale technology certificate (STCs) creation in the first half of the month: 1.63 million generated being almost double that of the second half on the month with 846,000 recorded.

March numbers were stronger than April: the creation of 2.87 million STCs versus 2.48 million.

Year-to-date STC creation by the end of April came in at 10.76 million, with this year’s average weekly (net) STC creation rate at 628,000; 10 per cent above the 2019 Clean Energy Regulator’s weekly target of 569,000. 

What does this translate to? STCs representing 20,402 rooftop PV systems.

NSW was the leader in the commercial sector.

Turning now to hot water systems, STCs representing 4,537 Solar Water Heater  systems were created in April; 16 per cent below March levels.  Year-to-date SWH system numbers at the end April (19,117) were slightly above those recorded at the same time last year (18,782). 

For the fourth consecutive month Victoria recorded the highest number of rooftop PV systems and installed capacity on the back of the successful Solar Homes Program that was temporarily halted in early April due to over subscription.

To get things back on track the government recently appointed Stan Krpan inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Solar Victoria, which gets a new lease of life from July 1.

The new financial year marks the start of the no-interest loans offer enabling households to install solar with no upfront costs, and the offer will be extended to 50,000 rental properties and 10,000 solar batteries. Additional rebates will be extended toward battery storage systems.

The environment is another beneficiary. Victoria’s carbon emissions will be slashed by almost four million tonnes, and household solar is expected to generate 12.5 per cent of Victoria’s 40 per cent target for renewable energy by 2025.

GEM reported that the STC spot price opened April at $36.40 following a month of fluctuating prices in March.  The STC spot price immediately trended upward, reaching $37.40 by 9th April.  However it didn't remain at this level long and by 18th April had returned to $36.40.  It stayed at this level for over a week, dropping to $36.30 in the closing days of the month. On May 6th the STC spot price closed at $36.40.