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Australia solar market tipped to grow 20% a year to 2015 by Conergy

Australia solar market tipped to grow 20% a year to 2015 by Conergy

German solar giant Conergy is predicting 20 per cent annual growth in the Australian solar market between now and 2015 as commercial-scale solar systems become competitive with the local electricity market.

Conergy said the levellised cost of energy (LCOE) for solar PV systems in Australia had fallen to just under 13c/kWh, which is less than half of the average retail price in the country.

It says commercial scale plants, such as the recent 100kW system it commissioned at the Casa d’Amore nursing home in South Brisbane, were now cost effective with no subsidies.

“The excellent climatic conditions and the achievement of grid parity …  are now opening up new opportunities for the Australian market,” said David McCallum, managing director of Conergy Australia in a statement.

He said the market, which is expected to fall by 25 per cent in 2013 to around 750MW, from its 2012 peak of around 1,000MW, should grow 20 per cent a year in coming years.

“Thanks to solar power becoming competitive, the Australian market will move away from being a purely investment driven market and become part of the genuine energy market, where the main criteria are electricity availability and the price per kilowatt hour.

“Bearing these criteria in mind, plants no longer need to be as large as possible but instead tailored precisely to the customers and their load profile in order to optimise production and consumption behaviour. Grid parity has reached Australia.

Conergy said the output of the 100kW system at Casa d’Amore was  being consumed entirely on site, and accounting for one third of its total electricity needs. It will deliver $16,000 in savings from the annual electricity bills each year.

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