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Feature - Changing solar market

Feature header image - Solar panels under a blue sky with clouds. 

Feature

Changing solar market

As the Australian renewable energy market evolves, the potential of solar panel systems is expanding beyond the small-scale residential sector and into business and industry. These commercial-size solar panel systems are being installed in industrial estates, bakeries, supermarkets, schools, retirement villages, hospitals, community centres, airports, zoos and even old power stations, at an increasing rate.

As the popularity of commercial-size solar panel systems increases, more system owners may be attracted to the benefits of generating renewable electricity.

Depending on the size of the system, owners of commercial-sized installations may be eligible to participate in either the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme or the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target.

Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, system size is capped at 100 kilowatts and certificates are created upfront based on the amount of renewable electricity expected to be generated over the system's lifetime. Alternatively, owners of systems over 10 kilowatts may choose to participate in the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target where certificates are created after generation, based on the actual amount of renewable electricity generated.

At the end of 2015, certificates created under the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target were worth almost double the value of the certificates created under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

The uptake of commercial-scale renewable energy systems, and their size, is expected to grow in the future. The benefits of participating in the Renewable Energy Target are clear. All businesses who are considering installing solar systems are encouraged to research which scheme under the Renewable Energy Target is right for them.

Photo acknowledgement: Clean Energy Regulator, small-scale installation

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