Australia is deploying renewables at a much faster rate than the rest of the world, even though it has a colourful wind energy segment, the distributed solar has the flying colours. With an average peak sunlight hour of about 5-6 hours per day, Australia is a Sun-kissed country. Also, top ten countries in the globe with high GDP per capita, homeownership and single dwelling buildings, low economic disparity make rooftop solar just the right fit for this country. Another major reasons that people would be willing to adopt solar rooftop will be low council and government approvals which also helps in keeping the prices down which is about AUD $1 (about 70 USD cents) per watt in Australia.
Australia installed 107.56 MW of rooftop capacity sprawling across the entire continent in August 2020, thus re-affirming its stance on renewable energy. Australia has always been very welcoming to the changing times and with this understanding brought in various schemes for the population to readily handle the times as well.
The policy to source two percent of the electricity demands of the country was in place since 2001 which was increased to 20% in 2009. The major reform came in January 2011, when the policy was split into two parts:
Large Scale Generation Certificates are created and can be claimed for systems more than a 100kW of solar systems in Australia. They are created for every MWh of electricity your system generates and can be traded in the market against the ongoing price of the LGC. The average price of LGC stands to be around $48. To be able to create LGCs, your system should be accredited as per the REE act. LGCs are created on a year on year basis.
Small scale technology certificates are for residential solar and small businesses below 100kW of solar system in Australia. They are issued based on how much electricity a solar powered system will generate until 2030. One MWh of electricity converts to one STC. For example: If your system can create 100MWh of electricity until 2030, then based on the trading price of STCs which varies, and can maximum go up to $40.
Some areas in Australia also provide rebate in the form of Feed-in Tariffs, where the excess energy can be sold to the government. Feed-in Tariffs are usually around 7-12 cents/kWh depending on your electricity retailer.
Deeming period corresponds to STCs which decline every year from January 2017. For example, if you install a system in 2020, your deeming period is 11 years.
Now, is that the only requirement to avail discount using STCs?
Government decides solar rebate using STCs depending upon the location of the system. Location plays an important role in electricity generation using solar powered systems. The amount of sunlight falling on the solar panel varies as per the location of the solar powered systems. Also, if the area is more prone to dust it may have an adverse impact on the generation. Hence, Australia is divided into four zones as per the postcodes.
Each Zone has its multiplier which is used to calculate the STC value. STCs are calculated based on the following parameters:
- 1. Geographic location (zone)
- 2. Installation date & deeming period
- 3. System size in kW
as per the below formula:
Number of STCs created = Postcode Zone Rating X Deeming Period Years X System Size in kW
Suppose you live in Sydney and have installed a solar panel system of 5kW in Jan 2021. Now, Sydney falls in Zone 3, so the number of STCs you are eligible for would be: 1.382 X 10 X 5 = 69 STCs
Now, considering the price per STC is $38.
Total Rebate that can be availed on the solar panel system is: $38 X 69 = $2622
Hate Maths? Well, then use the easy-peasy STC Calculator here.
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