ScottMadden recently joined the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) in a fact-finding mission to discover ways Australian utilities and partners are deploying distributed energy resources (DERs) and how customers are responding to this market shift.
Australia is ideal for solar energy production. Coupled with high power demand from urban centers and remote outback communities relying on off-grid solutions, Australia’s adoption of solar technology has grown exponentially over the past few years. In just a decade, Australia has seen incredible growth in its small-scale PV systems, from 3,500 installations to over 4 gigawatts by the end of 2015. In 2011 alone, 360,700 new solar setups were added, with numerous benefits for energy sustainability across the nation.
The distributed solar energy market is experiencing a massive boom, far from being an unexpected and rare event. This surge in growth can be attributed to three powerful forces that have become increasingly common the world over: skyrocketing electricity prices, generous government incentives for solar power adoption, and remarkable savings on installation costs of solar panel systems.
Australia’s solar panel boom has been bolstered by substantial drops in installation costs. These cost reductions, brought on in part due to decreasing solar panel prices worldwide, were supplemented with reduced soft costs such as permitting and interconnection fees. Increased standardization of practices allowed Australian installers to complete two residential rooftop systems daily. Australian utilities have also simplified the interconnection process. One distribution utility even has a “connect anytime, anywhere” policy for small solar systems.
Explore the energy markets in Australia in this report.
Additional Contributing Author: Tanuj Deora, SEPA
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