Dawn of a New Era - PV outshines SHW

The recent flare in growth of the Australian PV industry has seen the number of PV system installations outshine solar hot water system installations for the first time ever in Australia.

Australia is viewing the dawn of PV growth that the rest of the world has already enjoyed. SunWiz reported in an earlier REW article that Australian PV installations had topped 70MW in 2009. All indications point to the Australian PV industry enjoying a 500% increase in growth this year, eclipsing the 366% growth from last year. Interestingly, Australian PV installations have recently eclipsed installations of Solar Hot Water (SHW) systems.

In Australia, a total of 593,000 SHW systems have been installed since 2000. When considering Australia’s 8 million houses, this represents a 7.4% penetration. PV, on the other hand, has reached the 200,000th install in Australia, but is now being installed at a much faster rate as is evidenced by Figure 1.

The orange upper trend in Figure 1 highlights the increase in the number of PV systems installed in 2010 while the lower trend describes the increase in the number of RECs created. More significantly, PV growth has been continually sustained to date, whereas SHW has peaked and then returned to 2008 levels.


SHW and SPV Growth Comparison

Figure 1: PV outshines SHW in Australia in 2010. (Source: REC Registry)


SunWiz’s monthly PV Market Insights captured the surge in PV installed capacity in recent months.


PV Growth in Australia by State

Figure 2: Data from PV Market Insights produced monthly by SunWiz, highlights the increasing growth in PV installed capacity in recent months.  (Data Source: REC Registry)


At the moment, a shadow can’t be cast over the rising sun of the Australian PV industry, but can continued increases in growth be sustained in the years to come?


SunWiz is preparing an in-depth market forecast for Australia on a program-by-program basis, broken up by sectors: centralised and distributed and on- and off-grid. For more information, contact SunWiz www.sunwiz.com.au