Australia’s solar power sector set to surpass $4 billion by 2020
Updated July 24, 2020 05:53:47The cost of electricity in Australia is set to double by 2020, and the sector is set on eclipsing $4.5 billion in revenue by then, according to a new report by the Australian Solar Energy Agency (ASENA).
Key points:ASENA expects the solar energy industry to surpass the $4-billion barrier in 2020The solar industry’s $4,000-per-megawatt-hour price has increased by 50 per cent in the past decadeThe cost is forecast to double in 2020Solar electricity is expected to generate more than $2 trillion in electricity by 2035The industry has grown rapidly in recent years, growing from about 7 per cent of the Australian electricity market in 2015 to more than 25 per cent by 2020.
As the number of Australians working in solar energy increased, it also grew in terms of size, with the sector accounting for almost a quarter of the total Australian electricity supply.
Solar is expected, however, to continue to grow at an increasing rate, as the number and sophistication of technologies in the industry continue to increase.
“As the cost of solar electricity increases, the demand for solar electricity continues to grow,” the report said.
“It is expected that the solar electricity sector will have a significant impact on Australia’s electricity market by 2020.”
The ASENA report also forecast that the number one cost of power in Australia would be gas.
“While gas has traditionally been used as the primary fuel source for renewable energy generation, the cost per megawatt hour has increased significantly since the mid-2000s,” it said.
Solar power costs have increased dramatically in recent times and are expected to increase by a further 50 per cen, with a price of $1.05 per kilowatt hour in 2020.
The ASANA report, released on Monday, said that the cost had risen from $4 per kWh in the mid 2000s to $1 per kWh by 2020 and was forecast to continue increasing, as a result of solar’s “unconventional” nature.
The study also highlighted the increased number of solar PV systems installed in Australia, with nearly one million units installed in the first half of 2020.
It said that Australia’s demand for power from solar is expected at around $1 trillion in 2020, with demand projected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2040.
“The number of Australian households that have solar panels installed has increased dramatically, and with the projected growth in demand, the industry’s growth will continue to accelerate,” it added.
“Solar PV is projected to be the top-selling energy source in Australia in 2020.”
Solar is already the fastest growing energy source on the Australian grid, with more than 100GW of installed capacity in the last six months of the year.