A new report by the Climate Council has shown that solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuels in most capital cities. The cost of solar energy has dropped 58 per cent over the last 5 years, making it a cheaper source of power than new coal plants.
For large scale solar plants, the cost is now around $110 per megawatt hour, and is expected to drop significantly over time. On the other hand, electricity prices from new coal power plants are estimated to increase to A$160 per megawatt hour. This trend will continue to make solar an even better investment moving forward.
The cost for household solar is also now significantly below the cost of retail power in the capital cities. The only exception being Canberra, which has the lowest retail prices in Australia. Australia adds more solar power every year than the combined capacity of two of South Australia’s biggest coal-fired power stations.
The findings are not only great news for consumers but also the local econony. Solar now employs over 8000 Australians and as it continues to grow, thousands more jobs will be created.
2017 is also expected to see a rise in battery storage, helping the growth of solar energy and providing secure, flexible power. More than 6500 households have already installed battery technology and this is expected to triple over the next 12 months.
The Victorian Government is seeking expressions of interest to build a large-scale battery storage facility in western Victoria to improve grid stability. Premier Daniel Andrews also recently announced the Government will build 75MW of new large-scale solar to power Melbourne’s tram network.
Large-scale solar PV installations are already exploding in Australia – with airports, healthcare facilities, mines and businesses taking advantage of the technology. In 2017, more than 20 new large-scale solar projects will come online.
It promises to be an exciting time for renewable energy, with Australia is expected to reach over 20GW of solar PV in the next 20 years, equivalent to about a third of Australia’s current total power generation capacity.
To find out more about installing solar for your home or business, contact us on1300 374 357.