Is 2021 a Good Year for Household Solar in Australia?
The previous years showed the vast growth of solar all over the world. In the US, California has sustained its leadership in solar power numbers. Almost 17% of the state’s electricity is now run from solar energy. On the other hand, China is ahead of the pack as the world’s biggest solar energy producer, having installed more than 30 GW of PV capacity in 2019. Other countries in the top five are Japan, Vietnam, India, and the US (in no particular order).
While Australia is not on that list, it’s interesting to see how solar production, installation, and use have increased over the past decade. The Energy Transition Index placed Australia in the 43rd spot out of 115 other countries. So, we’re more than halfway there. But solar growth is not about ranking the highest anyway. It’s more about retaining the production rate. As a consumer, it helps to know what the future will look like, especially if you’re planning to install solar soon.
Solar Prices Continue to Go Down; Installation Numbers are Up
Australia’s renewable energy industry targeted new solar and wind power installations of more than 10 GW in 2018-2019. According to the Clean Energy Council, about two million Australian households proceeded to install rooftop solar panels in 2018. If this rate of installation continues, it’s possible that the country will achieve 50% renewable energy capacity by 2025.
A released record of leading Aussie states when it comes to solar demonstrated that New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory were the highest with almost 5,700 PV systems in December 2018. As for Western Australia, we had over 3,100 PV systems at the end of that year. WA, however, is the only state that has no dedicated renewable or zero emissions target.
This 2021, despite the issue with the solar rebate, this incentive is still available in the country. And it’s generous nonetheless. We have a detailed guide on WA’s solar rebate here if you’re interested.
Homeowners want to save on their energy bills, and it’s evident. According to the Clean Energy Regulator, almost 334,000 households installed solar in 2020. In the updated report, WA added more than 44,000 solar systems in the country. It’s a significant increase compared to 2018.
Aussies look forward to energy savings, but many were reluctant to install solar because of the hefty initial investment. But the prices are much lower than before, and they continue to go down almost yearly. It’s widely known that solar will become unbeatable, especially with fossil fuels contributing to high energy costs, climate change, and other environmental impacts.
COVID Motivated More Aussies to Go Solar
The pandemic surely injured all industries, including solar. However, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and IBISWorld researchers emphasised the US$10 billion (AU$12.9 billion) revenue of the solar industry in 2019. It means that the solar growth rate still increased about 36% over a five-year period. It’s not only happening in the US but around the world, as well. In Australia, the government offered a coronavirus relief or stimulus package, which motivated homeowners to buy and install solar.
This relief package was provided so businesses will continue to run despite the ongoing battle with the pandemic’s economic effects.
Many Aussies have been forced to stay at home to help keep everyone from spreading the virus. It caused a dramatic upsurge in the number of work-from-home jobs, which was beneficial for the economy.
Due to the influx of work-from-home workers, households began consuming more electricity than they used to. Thankfully, solar is already easily accessible in the country. Most people use electricity during the day while their solar systems generate power. Despite the increase in power usage, many employees actually benefited from the lower energy costs.
Aside from the COVID-related work-from-home growth, here are other reasons why a massive boom in household solar growth is imminent:
- Home values go up: A coronavirus relief and HomeBuilder package helped many Aussies planning to renovate their houses. With the stimulus package available, people used it to improve their homes while adding a rooftop solar system. While renovations may likely increase home value (depending on the renovation itself), solar installations guarantee it.
- Home-selling can become easier: Surveys have shown that buyers are more interested in purchasing a property with solar already installed.
- Going green is in: People are seeing the benefits of switching to solar, including its renewability and sustainability. Every kilowatt generated reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants like nitrogen oxides.
- You could receive incentives: Households can get Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme benefits, which help make the purchase cost of solar more manageable.
If you install solar now, you could see a return on your solar investment by 2026. Granted, it still depends on how much electricity you use and system size. However, government incentives, rebates, and ample sunshine days in WA easily make solar more affordable. So, if you’re still wondering whether or not you should install rooftop solar in 2021, the answer is a resounding yes.