A summer of record high temperatures, heat waves and unplanned electricity outages appears to have put a rocket under the Australian rooftop solar market in 2017, with installations at end of February nearly 50 per cent up on the same time last year.
According to the latest monthly insights report from SunWiz – based on data from Solar Choice – February was an excellent month for solar PV growth, and registrations have been clocked at 43 per cent better than 2016 YTD, driven largely by residential installs.
The February rebound marks the second best month for solar PV installs in Australia since 2013 – the best month since 2013 being December 2016.
For both those months, market growth was no doubt spurred by consumer concern and frustration, as peak power prices soared, and record-breaking heatwaves combined with fossil fuel outages to cause black-outs and load-shedding.
As we reported here on Thursday, this trend is evident in data of the final few months of 2016 in South Australia, following the statewide blackout event there in September.
In an analysis of Clean Energy Regulator data, Solar Citizens noted that monthly solar installation rates jumped 17.65 per cent from October to December, compared to installation rates from January till September.
But as the chart below shows, growth in rooftop solar installs has not been limited to South Australia, with all of the major states rebounding, while Western Australia remained fairly steady, consolidating its position as third-largest installer, behind Queensland and NSW and ahead of Victoria.
Commercial solar, which SunWiz notes is traditionally quieter over the summer holiday period, continues to grow in the minor states and territories, the report says.