Australian residential segment continues to slump

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While the national cumulative capacity recently passed 5 GW, the signs for the Australian residential solar market are beginning to cause concern. 8,683 small-scale PV systems were installed in January, down 2,937 from December 2015. There was also a 17% YoY decline, although these figures are based on both small-scale solar and residential solar hot water systems.

PV installations in every Australian state were down, with the most worrying declines in the populous states of Victoria and Sydney, where the monthly market shrank by one third.

Monthly Australian small scale PV system installs by state:

State (capital city)

December 2015

January 2016

% change

Queensland

(Brisbane)

2,849

2,300

-19%

Victoria

(Melbourne)

2,785

1,850

-33%

New South Wales

(Sydney)

2,735

1,819

-33%

Western Australia

(Perth)

1,629

1,622

-0.5%

South Australia

(Adelaide)

1,069

785

-26%

Tasmania

(Hobart)

296

159

-46%

Source: Green Energy Markets

In one bright spot, systems sizes continue to increase, with the monthly average in January coming in at 5.3 kW. In total over 46 MW of PV was added to residential or small commercial rooftops in the month. The commercial rooftop market segment continues to grow, accounting for 25% of installations.

Some seasonality can be attributed to the declines, however the installation figures remain well below those achieved in January 2015, as is evident in the graph below.

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