The Clean Energy Regulator database of solar PV generators represents all the systems that have been installed under the Commonwealth Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme. The RET commenced on 1 April 2001, hence this is the earliest date from which national data is available.
PV system owners and installers have up to twelve months to report the installation of a new system to the Clean Energy Regulator. Historically, 50% of new installations are registered within one month, and 90% of new installations within four months.
For this reason, the data for the more recent months understates the number of actual installations. In the graphs below, an estimate is made, based on historical reporting patterns, to account for the time difference been systems being installed and appearing in the database.
Between 2001 and 2010 the growth in the market for solar PV was around 15%. A period of extremely rapid growth occurred between 2010-2013. The market is now stabilising, but remains buoyant.
The following graphs show the rated capacity of solar PV installed in each month. The rate of installations has been influenced by changes in the policy mechanisms that have supported this technology.
Significant peaks in monthly installations are attributable to the closures of the Solar Bonus Schemes in New South Wales (May 2011) and Queensland (July 2012), and changes to the Solar Multiplier that determines the number of Renewable Energy Certificates for which new installations are eligible (5x multiplier ended July 2011; 3x in July 2012; 2x in Jan 2013).
A comparison between the number of installations and kW capacity installed in each calendar month shows a trend towards the installation of larger systems.
For example, in the peak around July 2012, fewer systems were installed than in the peak of June 2011; however more capacity (in kW) was installed in the 2012 peak than in 2011.
Monthly, per-postcode aggregated PV installation data is updated quarterly and available for download from the Clean Energy Regulator.