Australia Still The Lucky Country For Home Solar

Home solar power system prices remain far cheaper in Australia than in the USA, UK, Canada and New Zealand. Here’s how they compare.

The USA achieved a significant milestone very recently – more than five million solar installations. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) forecasts the number will double to 10 million by 2030 and triple to 15 million by 2034. The residential sector accounts for 97% of all solar installations, and SEIA estimates around 7% of all homes have panels. By 2030, this will grow to more than 15% of U.S. homes.

5 million systems is impressive, but we’ve still got them beat on several metrics. Home solar uptake in Australia has been phenomenal, with 3,800,149 small scale (<100kW) installations as at the end of April this year. And we’ve achieved that with a population of just 26.67 million compared to the USA’s 341.6 million.

So, why has Australia done so well? A lot of it is down to cost, which is much lower here. This is thanks in part to the “solar rebate”, which is still available today, and other favourable policies.

Rebates Kick Off Australia’s Home Solar Revolution

It may come as a surprise to some, but it was Liberal PM John Howard who introduced Australia’s Renewable Energy Target way back in 2001. Then in May 2007, Mr. Read also : EPRI receives DOE funding to analysis the transmission of solar info. Howard introduced an $8,000 rebate for solar systems. At the time, a piddly 1kW system cost around $12,000 before the rebate.

The impact of that initial rebate (the nature of the incentive has changed since), other policy settings and reduction in component costs had a big impact, very quickly. 1,115 systems were installed in 2006, 3,480 in 2007 and 14,064 in 2008. Fast forward to last year and approximately 328,243 were installed (Source: Clean Energy Regulator). But 2023 wasn’t the best year so far. That occurred in 2021 with 377,458 installations.

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AU Prices Vs. UK, USA, Canada And NZ

Nearly 2 years ago, I compared prices of 6.6kW systems in Australia with the UK and USA, which was the most common capacity being purchased here at the time. This may interest you : array. I thought I’d poke around again, but comparing larger 10kW solar systems – as that’s generally what the cool kids here are getting if they have the roof space (some even more). This time around, I’ll also throw in figures from Canada and our cousins across the ditch.

  • 10kW – Australia: $8,000 – $13,000
  • 10kW – UK: £13,000 – £17,000 (AUD ~ $24,650 – $32,240)
  • 10kW – USA: USD $21,000 – $35,0001  (AUD ~ $31,350 – $52,254)
  • 10kW – Canada: CAD ~$24,200 – $29,000  (AUD ~ $26,500 – $31,800)
  • 10kW – New Zealand: around NZD $22,000 (AUD ~ $20,120)

Australian prices for a 10kW system are based on a good quality system, competently installed and after the rebate.

Australians are privileged to live in the best country in the world2 in a number of aspects – and affordable good quality solar is among them.

Footnotes

  1. This cost is reduced by the Investment Tax Credit (ITC); a 30 percent tax credit for individuals installing solar systems on residential property. If I’m understanding correctly how it works, and based on the 31k price, it could knock off around 10k in a round-about sort of way – unless you don’t have the tax liability to benefit from it.
  2. OK, some possible bias here.

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