2018 - trends in commercial PV

By all accounts, 2018 was a stellar year for Australian Solar Power. To celebrate all of the solar glory, SunWiz has written a series of articles covering 2018 – the key trends, achievements, and milestones for each state and segment of the Australian solar industry. These trends, facts and figures are covered in extraordinary detail in SunWiz’s 2018 Year in Review, which can be purchased for $1995 ex GST, which also includes a complimentary 3 month subscription to Insights, SunWiz’s flagship PV market intelligence subscription.

The topics covered in our Year in Review series are:

  1. 2018 – Australia’s record breaking year. In eyewatering charts
  2. 2018 – state roundup
  3. 2018’s Top Retailers
  4. 2018 – Trends in Commercial PV
  5. 2018 – residential revival
  6. 2018- Australia’s magnificent year for solar farms

Trends in Commercial PV

Commercial solar also had a record breaking year in 2018, continuing its unbroken trend of record-breaking years. Before you start yawning “yet another record”, it truly was outstanding growth in 2018 – 59%, outstripping growth in the residential market. Indeed, the residential market was only 9.5% higher in 2018 than the 1GW it was back in 2012 – it was the 500MW of commercial STC installations that truly made the difference, even before the commercial LGC systems were counted.

Its not just the STC commercial market made 2018 a record year. Take a look at the record-breaking LGC commercial and industrial volume in the chart below:

We’re seeing some interesting new trends emerge in commercial PV that are indications of a maturing market. The market leaders are successfully winning portfolios of installation from large corporations. If 2017 was the year of rollouts across nursing home operators (Aegis, Bupa), then 2018 was undoubtedly the year of Shopping Centre rollouts. Stockland, Scentre, Vicinity Centres and Woolworths all rolled out PV across many sites. Some of them are larger than some solar farms, the largest being the 5.8MW Elizabeth City Shopping Centre pictured below (look at the size of the cars, for reference) – Nearmap image.

The other major trend in commercial PV is greenfield sites. The addition of solar panels as soon as a building is erected continues a trend we saw in 2017. But in 2018 it seems like developers can’t wait until a building is complete before putting solar on. This animation shows the progressive addition of solar panels as a building is in mid-construction.

  • It’s Official. With over 60,000 end-customers in the past 3 years, PVsell is an enabling technology in most commercial solar proposals. 
  • With standalone roof layout tool and Nearmap on Demand ($8/image) or BYO Nearmap, PVsell is also now the perfect software for residential PV.

2019 looks almost certain to exceed the records set in 2018. Rooftop PV continues to offer an unbeatable financial return, solar farms in construction exceed the capacity built to date, and state government programs are ramping up. To boost the solar industry this year, SunWiz has kicked off 2019 by including free high-definition rooftop imagery in every PVsell account, and offering a stand-alone roof layout tool for those who don’t need to use PVsell’s impressive financial analysis and tailored customer proposals. Both of these continue SunWiz’s mission to assist businesses to sell more solar for greater profitability.

Order your copy of the 2018 Australian PV Year in Review here.

Subscribe to PVsell and get high-definition rooftop imagery included at no extra charge.