Australia's looming PV solar cliff - and what it means for the US

Australia's looming PV solar cliff - and what it means for the US

This recent PV Magazine article highlights a growing concern among participants in the Australian photovoltaic marketplace which is an oversaturation of photovoltaics into the country's electric grid.  Australia is one of the most friendly solar customer countries on the planet, with installed residential solar as low as $0.70 / W - compared to $2.50 - $3.00 / W installed projects here in the US.  Perhaps Liberace was wrong - too much of a good thing isn't wonderful after all?

This may be a country needing to transition to a different model for future installed and adopted solar PV, but it also may signal the need to start time shifting loads and generation as the new default, which can be expensive to accomplish on a residential basis.

One option is to use other solar powered products, such as solar thermal air, water and ventilation systems to mitigate demand on the electric grid as it tries to play catchup with the amount of currently installed solar.

Either way, solar installers in the Australian market will be needing to find new business models and likely new products - necessity will no doubt be the mother of continued innovation in solar.

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