Drop in solar costs assures a strong 2017 for solar market
Author: Darvin Tocmo Date Posted:4 April 2017
2017 promises to be a huge year for the solar market as costs go down and investments soar.
The recently-published report of the Climate Council brings good news to the solar market. Specifically, 2017 will see a massive increase in home solar and storage, as well as in large-scale solar installations. This is part of the Council’s State of Solar 2016, a report that, overall, predicted a bright future for solar energy.
Interestingly, the report also claimed that Australia adds more solar power each year compared to the combined capacity of two coal-fired power stations in South Australia. It seems all is set for solar, and not just in 2017.
Solar market rejoices in cheaper solar costs
Apparently, the plummeting costs of solar technology and the increasing solar investments are behind this development. In today’s large-scale power generation, solar is now the cheapest form. Costs have dropped to 58 percent in five years. And by 2040, costs will further decrease by 40 – 70 percent.
In fact, the solar industry is in good shape as early as now. Solar plants are now offering more affordable electricity compared to gas, nuclear, and new coal. The report says we can expect its current $110 per MWh to significantly go down over time.
Huge solar projects in the pipeline
Solar will see a robust 2017 as 3700MW of solar energy powers Australia. This is on top of 20 solar projects that will come online. Climate Council foresees the country surpassing 20GW of solar PV in the next two decades, which is one-third of the current total power generation capacity.
Over 6,500 households in Australia currently have solar plus storage systems. Queensland and South Australia lead the list of states with high percentage of solar households. Both have around 30 percent of households that are sun-powered.
According to the report, solar market will encounter tremendous growth. Rooftop PV and energy storage installations will treble. Solar employment is sure to increase, too, from its current number of 8000 Australian employees. Worldwide, solar employs around 2.8 million.