Recent figures released by the Australian Photovoltaic Institute shows Australia’s solar installation statistics for 2017 mean we have nearly 6GW of capacity nationwide. Leaders in the solar ‘race’ are Queensland with 1.7GW and NSW with 1.2GW of residental/commercial solar PV power. Comparatively, Tasmanian solar figures are at a smaller 105mW. This gives them plenty of room for improvement, but when you consider geographic size and amount of sunlight this is moving in a very hopeful direction for solar. Especially when you consider that they are in front of the Northern Territory who should have at least 1.5GW by now.
Solar Uptake in Tasmania – 2017
With 105mW, Tasmania have more solar capacity than the NT and the ACT. According to the APVI, Launceston is the best performing area of Tasmania for solar power – with 2,353 discrete residential/commercial installations. Since 2013, when the feed-in tariff dropped from 28c / kWh to 5.5c / kWh, the solar industry has been very slow – with installers like Jason Garard reporting a massive drop in business from “two-and-a-half jobs a week to a job every two months”. There is some hope in sight, however, as the state government and energy minister Matthew Groom preparing to support solar development through a new 2017 scheme called TEELS. This comes as welcome news to groups like ‘Solarcitizens.org.au‘ who have been pleading with the government for a ‘fair go for Tassie solar’ after the 2013 tariff drop and a lack of state initiative has all but crushed the industry.
Tasmanian Solar – Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS)
The Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) is a $10m government initiative backed by Westpac to provide interest free loans for the purchase and installation of energy efficient products (e.g. solar hot water systems, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems). Tasmanians are registering their interest with Aurora Energy, who are partnering the government on this scheme. It’s expected this will have a major effect on solar energy in Tasmania.
As of today (April 28), they are finalising the setup of the scheme – you can click here for a list of eligible TEELS products and services and also to register for the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme. We’ll update this page and our main page about solar power in Tasmania as soon as TEELS has officially launched!