Australian PV market since April 2001

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 between 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 number of monthly installations stabilised through 2014 and 2015, and now appears to be trending slightly down in the residential sector, with an increase in the number of larger (commercial and utility-scale) PV systems keeping overall installed capacity high.

As of September 2016, there are over 1.58 million PV installations in Australia, with a combined capacity of over 5.44 gigawatts.

Australian PV installations since April 2001: total capacity (kW)

Australian PV Institute

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).

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Australian PV installations since January 2010: installations per calendar month

Australian PV Institute

A comparison between the number of installations and kW capacity installed in each calendar month shows a trend towards the installation of larger systems.

Significant peaks in installed capacity from 2014 are due to the installation of utility-scale PV systems, such as those in Royalla (20MW, 2014), Broken Hill (53MW 2015), Moree (56 MW, 2016) and Nyngan (102 MW 2015). Further details on large scale solar plants (>100 kW), including these utility-scale plants is provided on the Large-Scale PV Systems page.

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Australian PV installations since January 2010: kW installed per calendar month

Australian PV Institute

Monthly, per-postcode aggregated PV installation data is updated quarterly and available for download from the Clean Energy Regulator.

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Monthly installations by size category

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Monthly PV Output by state (MWh)

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The energy generated by distributed PV systems in each State has been calculated using data from the APVI Live Map.