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Rooftop And Large-scale Solar Grow By Leaps and Bounds in Australia as Power Prices Remain High

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Rising Solar Market in Australia

The Australian market is seeing rapid growth both in terms of rooftop solar and ground mounted utility capacity. The major reason being high electricity prices being offered by energy retailers to domestic Australian customers. Despite a free market prevailing in buying power, Australian consumers have to pay high prices as the “Big Three” utilities have an oligopolistic grip on both the generation and retail electricity market. In spite of possessing, massive reserves of coal and gas, Australia strangely has a situation where it pays high power prices.

You might also like to read: The Real Culprits Behind Australia’s Sky-high Electricity Prices

Rooftop Project

This has made Australia a fertile ground for solar energy which has become extremely cheap in recent days and allows customers to bypass the power grid to a large extent. Being able to put rooftop solar systems also leads energy customers to lock in rates for 20-25 years resulting in them being saved from steep price increase every year. Power inflation has been much higher than general inflation for Australians in the past decade and another double-digit hike is expected in 2018. More than 15000 solar rooftop systems were installed in Australia with a combined capacity of more than 100 MW in October and this figure was exceeded in November with another 120 MW of combined capacity being installed.

Ground mounted solar projects are also gaining traction with a Chinese developer winning a PPA with AGL for a massive 300 MW solar project in New South Wales. Large-scale farms also have a great economic case given that Australia has large empty tracts of sun-soaked land. This leads to low generation costs for solar energy. AGL wants to replace its 1600 MW coal power plant by 2022 with a mix of renewable energy, gas, and storage. The utility thinks it will be cheaper for it to go for renewable energy as compared to building another coal power plant which could face climate restriction and carbon charges in the future.

Solar energy already has been highly successful in Australia with already one-fifth of all Australian households having a rooftop solar system. Given the high prices of grid-supplied electricity and falling costs of solar, this trend is set to keep accelerating going forward.


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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