Solar energy demand falls in Australia

November 27, 2013 0 By Alicia Moore

Australian solar energy sector experiences turbulence

Solar Energy - solar panels on roofDemand for rooftop solar energy systems in Australia has been falling, according to a new report from Green Energy Markets, which was commissioned by the REC Agents Association. Over the past two years, Australia has established itself as a relatively attractive home for solar energy projects. The country is working to distance itself from fossil-fuels to some degree, thus an increased focus on renewable energy. In 2012, Australia crossed the 1 gigawatt threshold of solar energy capacity, but demand for residential solar power systems has been on the decline in 2013.

Report shows that demand is on the decline

The report suggests that the falling demand for home-based solar energy systems could have a relatively significant impact on the economy. Some 3,400 jobs are expected to disappear over the next 12 months as a result of reduced demand. Over the past year, the amount of photovoltaic system installations has dropped throughout the country by 22%. The decline is likely being caused by the phasing out of government initiatives that had supported the adoption of solar energy in the past.

Government incentives are weakening

Without government incentives, solar energy projects are beginning to feel a great deal of financial pressure. Moreover, homeowners that had expressed interest in solar energy in the past are now finding that they cannot afford to install photovoltaic systems on their properties. The high upfront investment associated with solar energy has kept many homeowners from being able to access clean power systems and there are few options available to these people in terms of financing.

Renewable Energy Target up for review

While the Australian government has been phasing out its incentives focused specifically on solar energy, the country still has plans concerning emissions reduction and sustainability. Australia currently plans to receive no less than 20% of its electrical power from renewable sources by 2020, an initiative that is referred to as the Renewable Energy Target. This initiative is currently slated to be reviewed by the government, however, which may decide to make significant changes to the renewable energy goal for the future.