Despite challenging conditions for much of 2020, the solar power industry continues to grow in Australia. Rooftop installations are more popular than ever, with residential and commercial customers taking advantage of great solar deals in an environment of rising energy prices. Overall, there were almost 3,000 MW of new installations in 2020, as the solar market grew by a record 39% year-on-year.
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According to market analysts SunWiz, the solar industry managed great results over the last 12 months. While the global pandemic slowed the national economy in 2020, the solar sector managed to navigate tough terrain and overcome adversity, thanks to strong market demand. The vast majority of Australians have welcomed solar, with almost every state and territory experiencing record results for small-scale installations and large-scale installations also looking positive.
Based on the latest figures from SunWiz, there were 324 MW of new solar installations registered in December 2020. This record figure was based on strong growth across the country — every state beat records, and NSW recorded 100 MW of new solar capacity. New solar growth was recorded for multiple installation sizes, including 2.97 GW for the sub-100 kW market and more than 3 GW for the commercial LGC rooftop market.
While small and medium-scale installations have been strong for years, large-scale arrays in residential and commercial buildings are experiencing a new level of growth. There are many reasons for this upwards trend, including rising energy prices, inclusive government incentives, and growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solutions.
Strong December results have also been attributed to the announced reduction of the STC subsidy, with many commercial solar installation companies having rushed to finish projects by the end of 2020. As more homes and businesses embrace the benefits of solar power, prices are only likely to fall further in 2021 and beyond.
Overall, Australia has the highest percentage of household solar power systems in the world. According to government figures, more than 21% of Australian homes have rooftop solar photovoltaic panels. More than 2.59 million rooftop solar systems were installed across Australia based on results from October 2020. This number is only likely to rise as more people join the solar power revolution.
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