Small-scale systems installations:
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive for owners to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems. These include solar panel, small-scale wind and small-scale hydro systems as well as solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.
As at 25 February 2016, we recorded a total of 188 902 small-scale systems installed in 2015. Of these, 137 468 were solar panel systems. This brings the total number of systems to 2 479 079 since the scheme was introduced in 2001.
These small-scale systems have the capacity to generate or displace around 8.9 million megawatt hours of renewable electricity each year—enough to power around 1.4 million average Australian households.
Around 73 per cent of the small-scale installations in 2015 were solar panel systems, with the majority of the remainder being solar water heaters. There were 11 small-scale wind installations and no small-scale hydro installations in 2015.
Since 2011 there has been a consistent decline in small-scale system installations. There were fewer installations in 2015 than in 2014 when 238 876 small-scale systems were installed. However, the average system size has increased from 4.4 kilowatts to 4.9 kilowatts. This trend is consistent with previous years, as shown in Graph 1.
A number of factors may have contributed to this trend, including market saturation and changes to state and Commonwealth funding arrangements.
Note: Given the 12 month period for creating small-scale technology certificates, the number of installations will continue to rise. Small-scale solar panel system installations
Figure 2 shows the number of system installations by state during 2015. Queensland had the highest proportion of all installations (28 per cent) followed by New South Wales (24 per cent) and Victoria (22 per cent).
A total of 130 667 residential-sized solar panel systems (1 to 10 kilowatts) and a total of 6 801 commercial-sized solar panel systems (10 to 100 kilowatts) were installed Australia-wide in 2015. This is a 0.4 per cent decrease on the number of commercial-sized systems installed in 2014. However, when compared with total installations for 2015 this demonstrates a continuing trend of larger systems entering the market. New South Wales had the highest number of commercial-sized solar panel installations, with 2 288 installed during 2015.
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