September set solar records in Australia


Tuesday, 06 November, 2018


September set solar records in Australia

September was a record-breaking month for Australia’s solar industry, with 10.1 GW of installed solar and more than 725 MW of total new solar capacity registered, according to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI). Both of these figures mark the most solar and new solar registered in a month.

APVI analysed data from the Clean Energy Regulator and found that there are over 1.95 million PV installations in Australia, with a combined capacity of over 10.14 GW. This is capable of delivering 14.6 TWh and meeting more than 5.5% of Australia’s energy demand.

Renate Egan, APVI Chair, said: “September is an exceptionally high point in an extraordinary year for investment and growth in solar energy.”

He explained the impact this has on rural and regional Australia in terms of employment opportunities.

“Every gigawatt of solar involves installing and connecting more than 3 million solar panels. This creates more than 1000 full-time jobs a year, and a further 30–100 ongoing positions are created in operations and maintenance.”

Australia’s new solar capacity was due to the registration of two of the country’s largest solar farms in September: 180 MW for Daydream Solar Farm and 188 MW for Coleambally Solar Farm. A further 138 MW of new solar was also registered by the already-operational Bungala Two solar project in South Australia, which doubled its capacity.

“In total, 667 MW of large-scale solar was registered in September 2018, the largest utility-scale count for a single month,” said Egan. “This broke a previous record set just two months prior, when 393 MW of large-scale solar was registered in July.”

This image shows the acceleration in total solar installations — driven by the strong growth in utility-scale solar. Source: http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/analyses.

APVI explained that PV system owners and installers have up to 12 months to report the installation of a new system to the Clean Energy Regulator, so the number of installations is understated in more recent data. It expects another 100 MW to have been installed in September, consistent with past months.

“With 1.95 million installations to date and more than 15,000 new ones each month, Australia is on track to break through 2 million solar installations by the end of the year,” said Egan.

“Solar records are falling like dominoes, and the enthusiasm for investment in renewable energy generation from Australian home owners and businesses should send a loud and clear message to policymakers.

“Whether from an economic, environmental or investment perspective, the case for solar is clear and it’s what the people want.

“Our leaders should waste no time in introducing effective, ambitious renewable energy policies to support Australia’s transition to an affordable, clean energy future.”

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/DanielSchoenen

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