Has Australia Reached Solar Peak?

Prices of solar systems on the Gold Coast continue to fall down which is very encouraging news for those who want a greener environment free from carbon emissions. However, over the last few weeks, there were media reports that Australia is on the verge of having too much solar energy. Electricity generators claim Australia is heading towards a solar peak.

Solar peak is the point where there is no longer a need to put more solar on the system because it will only be wasted. Others claim that solar peak can cause blackouts. During an interview with ABC, Andrew Dillon, head of Energy Networks Association, it is very likely for solar to cause voltage disturbances in the system. Transformers and other equipment can trip off in order to protect themselves from damages that can cause localized brownouts.

A furious battle is occurring because of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recommendation that by 2021, the federal government must remove the rebate provided to solar systems that are under small scale renewable energy schemes. If there is too much solar, does it mean that the rebates have to be scrapped?

Since December 10 last year, solar has reached peak level of penetration or market share in the national electricity market. Solar peaks at 17% between 11 am and 12:30 pm. Usually there is plenty of demand left to keep other generators busy.

Solar represents a very substantial part in energy supply. It is delivering one-fifth of the power during daytime peak period between 9 am to 5 pm. There is no risk to generating so much of solar power and waste most of it. Solar creates 2nd off-peak period for power supply during the middle of the day that replicates the kind of conditions experienced by power generators at 2 am to 5 am, the lowest levels of wholesale power prices.

Depending on the size and type of solar systems on the Gold Coast you choose, there is usually an upfront cost associated with installations of the system. However, the solar system generally pays for itself within 10 years. The energy received from solar power will offset the electricity received from the grid and reduce the electricity bill.