The world’s energy companies say they are seeing an increase in the uptake of solar panels on homes as a way to reduce emissions.
But the rise in solar installations could be coming at a cost.
Solar energy analysts say the cost of solar power could soon be hitting home owners.
They say that by the end of this decade, home solar installations will be about a third of what they are today.
The cost of a panel in Australia could be around $US50 per kilowatt hour, but the costs of solar installations are also rising rapidly.
It’s a problem that’s going to be really difficult to overcome.
Solar Energy Australia chief executive Ian Campbell says that is why the Government should be encouraging home solar installation.
He says it is only right that we are looking at the costs that are impacting homeowners.
“I think the solar industry has been growing at a phenomenal rate, and I think it’s very reasonable that the Government is investing in encouraging homeowners to invest in solar,” he said.
“We can make sure that solar is being used on the right homes at the right time, and we have the right policies that we’re talking about that make sure the system is affordable for homeowners.”
Mr Campbell says it’s a challenge for homeowners to get their solar panels installed.
“There are different technologies that you can use, and there are different panels that you’ll need to buy and install, and you can’t really use the same technology in all the houses that you’re building,” he says.
“You’re going to have to do some experimentation, and that’s where a lot of people are in trouble.”
What are the pros and cons of solar?
A major reason for the uptake in solar is that it’s cheaper than traditional energy sources.
There’s no charge for solar panels in Australia, but they are often used for energy storage.
“Solar panels are basically an alternative to conventional energy storage technologies, because they’re a really low-carbon option,” Mr Campbell said.
Solar panels are often utilised to help store electricity when the grid is not available.
But they’re not an all-inclusive solution.
“They don’t necessarily mean that you get to consume less power when you have solar panels and storage,” he explains.
“But they also have a huge amount of energy storage capacity, and they’re really cheap to install.”
That means solar panels can be used in a variety of ways, including for electricity storage.
But if you need a lot more storage, then you might need to invest more money in solar panels.
In the last 12 months, solar installations have surged around the country, and in some cases they’ve grown at twice the rate of all other forms of renewable energy combined.
“As a result of solar, there has been an enormous growth in energy storage installations in the past 12 months,” Mr MacLean said.
In Victoria, the state with the most solar panels per household is in Sydney, with more than 2,400 installed.
But in Tasmania, it is much lower, with just 200 installed, or just 1.8 per cent of all homes.
There are a number of reasons for the huge increase in solar installs in Australia.
“The Australian Government is working very hard to encourage homeowners to take advantage of this new technology and install solar panels,” Mr Anderson said.
The Government has also launched a national solar incentive scheme that has already resulted in more than $US10 billion being invested in solar projects across Australia.
The Solar Power Industry Association (SPIA) says solar energy is one of the most cost-effective ways to store energy.
“Our research shows that a large part of the cost is simply the upfront investment, which includes the installation of the panels,” the group’s chief executive, Tim Mackey, said.
And that’s one of several reasons why solar is so attractive to homeowners.
In a survey, SolarPower Australia’s research director, Rob Jones, said homeowners are generally happy with the installation costs of installing solar panels because it’s an easy and affordable way to make their energy use less.
“It’s a very simple thing to do,” he explained.
“In terms of installation, it’s pretty straightforward, and the installation process is quite straightforward, too.”
And that means solar energy systems are easy to install, which is a big benefit.
Solar Power Australia is working with a range of government agencies to help homeowners install solar energy.
SolarCity, one of Australia’s largest installer of solar energy solutions, has also been working with the Government to encourage solar homeowners to install solar, and it has also created a free service for homeowners called Solar Power.
Mr Anderson says that with this free service, homeowners can download an app to access the solar panels at home.
The app also lets them see the panels’ ratings and cost.
“This means that they can compare with other systems that are installed in their home and compare their cost against the other systems,”