It has been an interesting year as far as the solar installation industry in Adelaide is concerned and the solar and renewable energy landscape Australia wide. The areas of change concerning the Adelaide solar installers market this year has focused around:
- Adelaide solar consumers are increasingly considering the pro’s and con’s of solar energy storage technology. With the decrease in costs of ‘smart battery storage’ systems specifically designed to integrate with solar panels systems, home owners can embrace the possibility of becoming virtually energy self sufficient and the reliance on grid supplied electricity is likely to decrease significantly over the next few years.
- Price pressure on solar system pricing. With the drop of the Australian dollar to its current levels (as of December 2015) to around US$0.72=A$1.00 the cost of imported solar panels (which is greater than 98 percent of all installed solar panels in Adelaide) can only go up. The same applies to the majority of inverters. This upward price pressure on solar system pricing has been some what balanced by the increased competitiveness of the Adelaide solar market. As the year on year number of solar installations in South Australia plateaus out, local solar installers are increasingly competing for a smaller number of jobs, meaning, in many instances that margins are under pressure, as solar companies try and win solar installations on pricing.
- Greater certainty around ‘rebates’. The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme has survived the ‘axe’ following the Renewable Energy Target Review. This means that there is, effectively, still an ‘upfront’ subsidy for solar system installation. It seems that the Turnbull Government is more ‘pro solar’ than the previous administration and it will be interesting to see what 2016 brings in terms of ‘support’ for the industry.
2016 should herald some interesting developments in solar technology. There are a number of companies that are likely to release 3rd generation solar panels with efficiencies approaching 20 percent in the next year to 18 months. As discussed above, solar battery storage is likely to be the ‘big news’ story in 2016. Several Japanese companies have signaled that they will be launching lithium based solar energy storage devices aimed at residential solar in late 2016. We watch with interest.