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Solar Still Makes Sense in 2020

Solar Still Makes Sense in 2020

Author: David Green/Wednesday, August 19, 2020/Categories: Featured Writer David Green, Business

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Solar Energy in Australia has been a story of significant growth over the last decade. Since 2009 cumulative capacity of Solar in Australia has grown from nearly zero to 18,583,305 KWs in June 2020 (as per the Australian PV Institute). To put that into context that is enough power to run an off the shelf light bulb for around 371,666,100 hours. In words, that’s three hundred and seventy-one million, six hundred and sixty six thousand, one hundred hours. It has a great period for Australia and for Renewable Energy.

However, there is still a long way to go.

Queensland is leading the race with nearly 40% of dwellings having a Solar PV System installed. NSW the most populous state and one not lacking sunshine is only just over 20%. With mixed messages and dodgy sales people flying around it is easy to see why people are still hesitant to commit to purchasing their own home solar system.

Chart Courtesy of The Australian PV Institute (APVI) Solar Map, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, accessed from pv-map.apvi.org.au on 19 August 2020.

So, does it still make sense to buy Solar in 2020?

  • First, what is the current rebate.

The government backed rebate is not too be confused with feed in tariffs. The rebate is given by the government to anyone who installs new solar panels. Feed in Tariffs is what your electricity retailer will give you if you sell power you have generated back onto the grid. I often hear people speak of the rebates are not what they used to be and solar isn’t worth it. It isn’t the case.

The rebates are still quite lucrative and are rebates. The governments pays the bill. You just need to make sure your system is under 100kW, it is installed by a CEC approved installer and the panels and inverter are approved by the CEC. You probably want all of those things anyway if you are going to invest in Solar but they are the only criteria! To put into context what a rebate could be currently, on a 6.6kW system (around an average household size) you would get a $3,800 rebate from ScoMo. They do range based on your state and the size of your system so if you are keen to understand, check out this STC calculator put together by the Clean Energy Council.

  • Secondly, feed in tariffs still help pay the bills.

Feed in Tariffs were hot property at the beginning of the solar boom. Basically, any energy from your solar system that you don’t use (you using your energy is first priority for your system) it will be feed back into the grid and bought back off you by your energy company. Pretty cool hey?

The tariffs were once huge to encourage people to get solar. They are less than what the once were, that is a fact. However, they are still a big help to offset your energy spending. At the moment depending were you are and who your retailer is, you will get anywhere from 7 – 20c per kW for power you send back in. Remember this is power that you aren’t using as your home draws all the energy created first before sending it to the grid.

  • Thirdly, shop around.

The options you now are vast compared to only a few years ago. Gone are the days of having no other options but the cowboy solar company selling you any system they can. With increased competition consumers can now shop around to ensure they are getting a good product for a good deal helping with their return on investment. There are even solar and energy brokers opening helping customers hunt down the best deal.

Jonathan Green from Teho an energy broker who specialises in Solar Systems said that they have seen a huge uptake in their service since opening in July.

“People just have high expectations when it comes to service these days and solar is no exception. Value and service can go hand in hand and that is why you should always shop around to get the best deal. We compare retailers nationwide to help consumers get the best solar system they can”.

  • Finally, the cost of a system has come down significantly.

Only a few years ago, even humble home systems were very expensive. Return on Investment was driven by feed in tariffs and having perfect roof placement for your panels. However, thanks to increased competition, improving technology and further uptake from consumers solar systems are just costing less. This makes the economics of having a home Solar system much better.

The moral is, solar does still make sense in 2020. The economics do make sense and you can really help the environment along the way. The government is phasing the rebate program out over the next 10 years so hopefully technology will overtake the rebates value before it’s gone.

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