The Australian solar industry should take a collective bow. Well, catch its breath first, and then take a collective bow. 2017 was a magnificent, record setting year for solar installations, and many people were still up on roofs installing over the summer break. It may actually not be possible to pause to catch breath, as we're already hearing that January 2018 is notably busier for commerical sales than in past years.
SunWiz has a crazy busy January too, compiling all the data for the 2017 Year in Review, and for reporting to the CEC and IEA. But we can't contain our excitement at the figures we're seeing, so we're taking a moment out to publish some pretty impressive data (even if we do say so ourselves).
So, here's some highlights from the 2017 Year in Review, to whet your appetite:
- Installation Tally
- Incredible Growth
- Robust Growth across the nation
- Residential Rebound and Commercial Skyrocket
- Solar Panel Imports worth $1,200,000,000
- Highlight #6: Some fantastic news
All the glorious charts illustrating these highlights follow...
Highlight #1: 2017 Installation Tally
Our numbers aren't finalised yet (the lag between installation and registration means we have to make projections for STC systems and patiently wait for LGC systems to see light of day), but our 2017 Australian PV installation tally now sits at 1.25GW. We calculate that 1.12GW of sub-100kW PV has been installed in 2017, though it will take a few months to true-up to this level in the STC registry. We've identified at least 138MW of LGC-eligible systems.
Highlight #2: Incredible growth on 2016
The outstanding figure is 50% growth on 2016 in the sub-100kW market. On top of this, there was over 60% growth in the sub-100kW commercial market and almost twice as much volume in the 101-1000kW range.
Highlight #3: Robust growth across the nation
As illustrated in the dashboard below (sub-100kW installations shown), there was growth in every state and territory. NSW, WA, and the NT each had their biggest year on record.
Highlight #4: Residential Rebound and Commercial Skyrocket
As illustrated in the dashboard below there was an amazing rebound in residential PV installations. But Commercial installations were most exciting - they made up over 30% of sub-100kW capacity in 2017, and their growth rates are astonishing - particularly in the 10-20kW and 75-100kW segments.
Highlight #5: Solar Panel Imports worth $1,200,000,000
This chart shows that some 15 million solar panels worth a total of $1.2b were imported into Australia in 2017, according to the ABS. A high proportion were destined for solar farms that are under construction, which is why we see atypically high volume coming from Malaysia, the USA, and Mexico and heading for Queensland.
Highlight #6: Some fantastic news
Highlights of the news reel over the year include:
- Feed-in tariffs doubling
- Victoria offering a time-of-use feed in tariff worth up to 29c/kWh
- Victoria's trams to be powered by the sun
- VRET getting legislated
- ACT government storage round three
- NSW government signing LGC off-take agreement
- Kidston powering up
- Corporate PPAs
- World's largest VPP switched on
- The Tesla SA big battery
- Solar / storage incentives for residents of the Latrobe Valley and NT
The SunWiz 2017 Year in Review contains over 70 slides that are essential to understanding the Australian solar industry and its top companies and trends.