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After Residential Segment, Australian Commercial and Industrial Segments To See Massive Solar Uptake

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Solar in Australian Commercial and Industrial Segments

Solar energy in Australia has mostly taken off due to the feed-in tariffs paid to residential customers installing rooftop solar energy. This has led to more than 20% of Australian households having rooftop solar systems. However, the offtake of solar energy in the industrial and commercial segments has not increased due to lack of economic viability. But with the distorted market power structure where large power utilities have managed to drastically increase power prices and the falling costs of solar energy, the picture might change.

The LibertyOne group which owns large steel plants plans to install a massive 1 GW of solar capacity along with storage to reduce its very high power prices. With metal industries being heavily power intensive, solar energy can sharply reduce the prices. Even as the Australian government is becoming more anti-renewables, the economic case for solar energy is becoming stronger by the day. Pure economics is driving industrial consumers towards solar where they can reduce energy costs by as much as 40%.

Solar energy is being generated at a fraction of the cost of the wholesale market price in Australia these days. With an oligopolistic market structure dominated by the “Big Three” Utilities keeping the power prices high, SMEs will soon move away. While the LibertyOne Group plans to build a large solar plus storage capacity on its own, other customers who cannot make the high initial investments are looking at signing at PPAs at a much lower cost.

Solar Rooftop

Also, read Net Energy Demand For Australian Utilities Could be Zero in a Decade

The Australian government may procrastinate and debate the usefulness of going renewable energy, but the secular trend is inevitable. With storage becoming cheaper, people might just go completely off the grid. Industries which can see massive savings will be the first to go unless the Australian government proactively integrates the larger amount of renewables in the system. With the conservative parties still hankering after coal, smart states and consumers will simply move to renewable energy on their own leaving the power industry high and dry.

Gupta’s now majority owned Zen Energy is expecting the 1,000MW of solar, battery storage and pumped hydro to be built around Whyalla will service other major energy users in South Australia.

Source: Reneweconomy


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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