Rooftop solar power generation is on the rise in Australia. The country has been subjected to one of the most adverse price hikes for electricity and gas over the past five years, and people have been subjected to extensive increases in the price of electricity and gas. Network distribution companies have been charging extensively high prices of electricity in household bills, and these costs have been attributed to network distribution expenditure, which has often been referred to as ‘gold plating’ by analysts. However, this has no direct benefit for the consumer, and as a result, the consumer is paying higher prices for the same amount of electricity that they were consuming before. As a result, people have begun to opt for different sources of electricity, and being one of the sunniest countries in the world, Australians have turned towards solar power generation.
At present, one in five countries in South Australia has a rooftop solar system installed. For instance, in Melbourne, the adoption rates have increased even further, outstripping the inner city by a factor of 5:1. As the interim results were revealed of one of the largest private network operators, Spark Infrastructure, some very interesting data came to light on the penetration of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems within the southern states of Australia. As per the details revealed by Spark, which is the largest electricity distributor within the State, it stated that the level of solar penetration at a residential level in South Australia had grown by 19.2 percent, as on June 30, which confirms the estimates which state that one in every five houses in South Australia now has a rooftop solar system installed.
A year earlier, the level of penetration stood at 17.2 percent, and was responsible for another 4 percent fall in the volumes of electricity from residential customers. As the prices of electricity have increased, most people have opted to get rooftop solar systems installed within their homes, primarily because of the fact that they are unable to afford such high electricity household bills. Moreover, companies that sell rooftop solar photovoltaic systems have now begun to provide convenient discounts and installment packages. Most people just get their rooftop solar systems installed, then feed off the excess energy generated in to the grid, and the money generated through this is used to pay off their installments.
Many electricity companies are suffering as a result, as Origin, AGL and Power Cor (amongst various others) have all revealed significant drops in their customer bases, all because of the significant increases in the prices of electricity. The government has also set up the Renewable Energy Target, which aims to produce around 20 percent of all the electricity within Australia by 2020 with the help of renewable sources of energy. As the prices of electricity have increased massively, many people have been subjected to look for alternative options or to cut down their average daily usage to an affordable level. The alternative lies in wind and solar energy, as the trend suggests.