Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Joshua S Hill1
Solar Price Hits All-Time Low In Australia
The Solar Choice Price Index provides a monthly update of the cost of solar across Australia. It’s a very useful tool for keeping up to date with Australia solar price trends, which are some of the most exciting in the world. Australia rooftop solar actually competes with German rooftop solar in some arenas.
The latest update from the Solar Choice Price Index shows that solar PV systems in my home country of Australia have reached an all-time low for residential and commercial customers.
The average price for solar systems of all types and sizes dropped by approximately $200 at the beginning of November, with Melbourne and Brisbane remaining the most expensive cities in which to install a PV system (despite reductions there as well).
One reason for the high price in Melbourne is that Victorian installers are also responsible for a portion of the work done in Tasmania, therefore ticking the cost for Melbourne up slightly.
Sydney and Perth are the cities with the lowest-priced systems in the country, as they have been for awhile.
Of course, solar costs and solar prices are dropping all over the world. Technology costs have been coming done, as have installation and other “soft costs” associated with greater market penetration, more competition, and better solar policies. Nonetheless, Australia is still a clear leader in this realm, with some of the lowest solar prices in the world.
With a decrease in system cost has come a reduction in the cost per watt. Compared to October 2012, the cost we per watt is now approximately 9 cents cheaper across the board, with Melbourne seeing the greatest decrease at around 20 cents per watt. At the beginning of October, the average cost per watt for a 1.5kW system was $2.82, compared to $2.50 per watt at the beginning of November — the average cost of a 5kW solar PV system in Melbourne has dropped by 34¢ per watt.
Overall, the cost of systems have dropped considerably in such a short time, including the price of high-end premium systems.
The minimum system price remains about the same at around $350 for a 5kW system, but massive decreases in price have been seen in premium systems over the last 30 days. Solar Choice writes:
Compared to the beginning of October, a premium 1.5kW system can be almost $1,000 cheaper, 2kW or 3kW premium systems may be $3,000 less expensive, the maximum cost for a premium 4kW system is nearly £6,000 less expensive, and the top price for a 5kW system has been reduced by over $6,000.
Interesting. I wonder what is making the premium system costs come down so much. Perhaps just an increase in demand (and resulting benefits of scale), or an increase in competition, or just a lowering of technology costs in that market.
With technology costs as low as they are today, it seems unclear whether or not they can drop a lot further, at least without some significant technology breakthrough. But overall system costs could continue dropping as the market matures and subsidies are removed.
Image Source: David Clarke