What is the likely future for solar installation In Adelaide in the next few years?
Background: The Past – South Australian Boom in Residential Solar
Since the combined benefits of the Labor Governments Solar Bonus Scheme together with South Australia’s generous solar feed tariff were introduced over the last few years the case for Adelaide households to reduce their electricity bills and ‘do their bit’ for the environment was very compelling. The initial upfront cost of getting the solar system on an Adelaide roof was subsidized by the federal government and once installed, the (relatively) high feed tariff for solar electricity sent back to the S.A. grid meant that the effective payback peiods and return on investment for the systems became compelling for many households. Return on investment from solar, particularly ‘after tax’ was often quoted as being significantly higher than most other investments – the stock and bond markets and fixed interest etc.
South Australia – Solar Power In A ‘Post-Incentive’ World.
Future Environmental Case For Solar In Adelaide. With the S.A. solar feed tariff set to drop from 30 September this year, meaning only the ‘minimum retailer payment’, currently around 8 cents per kilowatt hour will be available and the solar Bonus scheme wound back, the calculations and the case for solar power installation becomes more ‘muddied’. Certainly, for Adelaide residents with a strong environmental concern,and a wish to contribute to S.A’s renewable energy profile, solar power will continue to make sense. The carbon payback periods for solar panels systems is typically quoted at 2 to 3 years solar energy production meaning that the energy required to produce the solar panels, solar inverter and associated componentry – and the corresponding carbon emissions associated with that energy used takes the solar system 2 to 3 years to ‘payback’ that energy. A quality solar system should be producing solar electricity (Carbon free) for a minimum 20 years – some claim up to 30 years, depending on the quality of the solar panels, inverter and installation. So the case for solar appears to remain valid, on environmental grounds, in years to come
Future Financial Case for Solar In Adelaide. Post the incentives outlined below, the case for residential solar in Adelaide on financial grounds probably still holds up. As discussed in previous posts, whilst pricing for the major solar components has probably bottomed, the predictions for long term energy prices are invariably up, so being able to ‘isolate’, at least in part, your home from future energy price increases seems to make sense. As we discuss on the homepage, correct solar panels system design will, in part, be about ensuring a ‘match’ of system size versus your energy usage during the day (in a low feed tariff world) replaces that usage with solar power whilst avoiding sending large amounts of electricity back to the grid, where the ‘payment’ received for that power is minimal.