Category Archives: Reports

Sunny side up: how schools, prisons and libraries can power Queensland’s renewable future

This report looks at the solar rooftop opportunities on public buildings in five diverse local government areas (LGAs) — Brisbane, Cairns, Logan, Gladstone and Townsville — and provides a case study for each.

Key findings:

  • The energy generated each year by these potential PV installations could power 44,000 average Queensland households.
  • These PV installations could generate an estimated 844 job-years* of employment in the solar installation business.
  • 152,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided, equivalent to leaving 1,353,000 tonnes of coal in the ground or planting 51 million trees.Of the 150 megawatts (MW) of solar potential identified on public buildings, just over half is on public schools with public hospitals and correctional centres providing further opportunities.
  • 77 MW of PV potential on public schools
  • 28 MW on public hospitals
  • 14 MW on correctional centres

The report is available here.

National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Australia 2019

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

The 2019 report can be found here

PV Potential in Perth

Download the full report as a PDF here

This research uses the data and methodologies behind the APVI Solar Potential Tool (SunSPoT), developed by researchers at UNSW, to estimate the Solar Potential in Perth. The report includes:

  1. An assessment of PV Potential in Perth LGA
  2. An estimate of the potential impact of rooftop PV on local electricity consumption and emissions
  3. Identification of rooftops with the largest PV potential (area available) in Perth LGA
  4. Four case studies of PV Potential on landmark buildings in Perth

Our most conservative results suggest that:

  • over 102MW of solar generation could be deployed on the roofs in Perth
    o 23 times the existing PV deployment
    o 31%of the total roof area could accommodate around 400,000 solar panels
  • this could generate 153 GWh annually
    o supplying the equivalent of 29,430 Australian households
    o avoiding 107,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • CBD electricity customers could save up to an estimated $33 million per year

Analysis of 4 case study buildings in Perth suggests potential solar PV capacities of:

  • 1,718kW on the Royal Perth Hospital,
  • 321 kW on the Western Australia Cricket Association Stadium,
  • 264 kW on the News Corp Building,
  • 4,046 kW on the central building of Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Australia’s Contribution to the IEA PVPS Global Snapshot Report 2019

This is Australia’s annual contribution to the International Energy Agency’s “Snapshot of Global PV Markets” that is compiled under the Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. 

The Snapshot of Global PV Markets reports on the global uptake by region and by country, according to capacity and electricity generation.

Australia’s contribution can be accessed here

PV in Australia 2018

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

The 2018 report can be found here.

Solar Awareness for Tradespeople

This guide and associated short course have been developed by GSES to inform other tradespeople how to work safely near existing solar systems.

It can be downloaded for free here.

Currently there are over 2 million houses in Australia with a grid connected solar (photovoltaic) system on their roof and interconnected to the grid. There are approximately 6,000 electricians accredited by the Clean Energy Council to install these systems. These “solar electricians” have been trained in the safe installation and operation of these systems.

Over the last 20 years standards have been developed to allow for the safe installation of these systems,however these standards have been updated regularly to reflect changes required due to the rapid changesand growth of the industry. The result is that a system installed in 2000, that is still operating, will have been installed differently to what is being installed today. Some of the differences will be the type of cable that has been installed between the solar array and the inverter (the inverter converts the solar power to a.c. power that feeds into the building and onto the grid), the number and type of switch disconnectors (isolators), the signage and whether the solar array has been bonded to earth.

This guide details the variations in solar system installations a tradesperson might encounter when working near a solar system, distribution boards and switchboards. The variations often relate to signage, cabling requirements and isolation/protection requirements. For all tradespeople it will be important to be aware of where the solar array is installed, where the inverter is installed, the associated cabling between the array and inverter and the associated switches/isolators. Electricians who have not undertaken solar training need to appreciate that a grid connected solar system is a separate generation system in parallel with the exiting grid and that cables associated with the system must not to be used for any other electrical connection and only be used for the interconnection of the grid connected PV system.

How Much Rooftop Solar can be Installed in Australia?

This report estimates the total potential for rooftop solar to be 179 gigawatts with an annual energy output of 245 terawatt-hours.

It was produced in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, and can be downloaded here. The analysis was undertaken by Jessie Copper, Mike Roberts and Anna Bruce, Australia’s experts in solar potential spatial analysis and creators of the APVI SunSPoT Tool.

What do these figures mean?

The potential annual output from rooftop solar is greater than current consumption in the national electricity market (just under 200 TWh per year).Australia is currently using less than 5 per cent of the potential capacity for rooftop solar.

Where is the greatest potential for rooftop solar?

• Around half of the unused potential for rooftop solar is in residential zones.

• While most would think of dense urban centres in capital cities for rooftop solar, the second largest potential (34 GW) is in primary / rural production zones.

• Commercial and industrial zones together have the potential for 26 GW of rooftop solar.

In interpreting these results, it is important to understand that planning zones do not correspond neatly with building types. There are commercial buildings inside residential, mixed, industrial and primary production zones. Consequently, some of the capacity inside primary and rural production zones is likely to be commercial and industrial buildings.

As a first study, there will be further data that will refine this estimate in time– and beyond refinements of the APVI methods for factors such as shading there will be rooftops that are not actually suitable for solar (e.g. due to structural integrity issues).

Our study does not suggest Australia could or should source all its power from rooftop solar. But noting these caveats, our study does indicate that even with the strong recent growth, Australia has only just scratched the surface of the potential. There are still many barriers to rooftop solar which if they were to be addressed by governments, investors and communities could unlock a large volume of clean energy.

Maps of the rooftop solar potential for each Local Government Area are available on the Australian Renewable Mapping Initiative (AREMI) and APVI Map website.

IEA PVPS Snapshot of Global PV 2019

This report is a global snapshot of PV developments that is compiled by the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme.

It reports on the global uptake by region and by country, according to capacity and electricity generation. It can be accessed here.

Solar Trends Report for Solar Citizens

This report was commissioned by Solar Citizens and written by some of the brightest minds at UNSW Sydney and the Australian PV Institute. It shines the light on the exciting progress that Australian households have made towards repowering our nation with clean, affordable solar. The analysis also found that Australia has the rooftop potential to increase residential solar capacity to a staggering 43GW–61GW—well above the approximate 6GW that’s currently installed.

The Full Report can be found here, and an Executive Summary, written by Solar Citizens, can be found here.

Task 12 report: Human Health Risk Assessment Methods for PV. Part 1: Fire Risks

This report presents an analysis of potential human health impacts associated with chemical release from modules during a building fire for three PV technologies, focusing on airborne release of the highest‐prioritized chemical element for each.

Fire hazard analysis methods are presented that can estimate emissions that may occur when PV modules (hereafter mostly referred to simply as “modules”) are exposed to fire, estimate the associated chemical concentrations in ambient air downwind from the fire, and finally compare these exposure‐point concentrations to health‐protective screening levels.

A 2 page summary can be found here, and the media release is here

PV in Australia 2017

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

The media release summary can be found here.

Spatial Analysis of Solar Potential in Adelaide

Key Findings

Our analysis shows that Adelaide CBD could generate more than 25% of its electricity needs from its own rooftops, with the installation of 129 MW of solar on CBD rooftops.

Using the average results from our 4 methods:

  • There is potential to install 129MW of solar photovoltaics on CBD rooftops
  • There is potential for 32 times the existing PV deployment
  • 43% of the total roof area could accommodate 516,000 solar panels
  • This could generate 174GWh annually

    o meeting 26% of the CBD energy demand
    o supplying the equivalent of 34,000 SA households
    o avoiding 77,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions

  • CBD electricity customers could save up to an estimated $54 million per year

Analysis of 3 case study buildings in Adelaide’s CBD suggests potential solar PV capacities of:

  • 350kW on the Centrepoint Building,
  • 840 kW on the Central Market, and
  • 1300 kW on the central building of Adelaide Convention Centre.

Spatial Analysis of Solar Potential in Melbourne

Key Findings:

The Australian PV Institute analysis shows that Melbourne LGA could generate more than 12% of its electricity needs from its own rooftops, with the installation of 461 MW of solar on its rooftops.

Using the average results from our 4 methods:

  • There is potential to install 461MW of solar photovoltaics on City of Melbourne rooftops
  • This represents a one-hundred fold increase on the existing PV deployment
  • 38% of the total roof area could accommodate close to 2,000,000 solar panels
  • this could generate 548GWh annuallyo meeting an estimated 12% of the LGA energy demand
    o supplying the equivalent of 112,000 Victorian households o avoiding 567,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • Melbourne electricity customers could save up to an estimated $112 million per year

Report: PV Potential in Canberra

The report includes:

  1. An assessment of PV Potential in Canberra CBD
  2. An estimate of the potential impact of rooftop PV on local electricity consumption and emissions
  3. Identification of rooftops with the largest PV potential (area available) in the CBD
  4. Three case studies of PV Potential on landmark buildings in Canberra

Guideline to Introducing Quality Renewable Energy Technician Training Programs

This document is intended as a guide for The Renewable Energy Industry, Multi-Lateral and Bi- Lateral Donors and Government Ministries/Departments that want to introduce competency based quality renewable training programs for technicians into a country or region.

The guide provides an overview of: 1. QualityTrainingFrameworks;

  1. The processes involved in developing competency based Quality-Training programs; and
  2. The capacity building requirements for the technical and vocational education sector

The overall objective of the guide is to enable stakeholders to identify the best way to introduce renewable energy courses into an existing quality training framework or, if one does not exist, to establish a process whereby the training being provided is following quality procedures.

The guide concludes with recommendation that the Global Renewable Energy Industry should consider the introduction of an international framework that would provide a mechanism for renewable energy training programs to be accredited by a third party.

PV in Australia 2016

The media release summary can be found here.

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

IEA PVPS Evaluation

This report summarises a questionnaire about the performance of IEA–PVPS.

It was undertaken between Nov 2016 and Jan 2016

Report: PV Potential in Brisbane

The report includes:

  1. An assessment of PV Potential in Brisbane CBD
  2. An estimate of the potential impact of rooftop PV on local electricity consumption and emissions
  3. Identification of rooftops with the largest PV potential (area available) in the CBD
  4. Three case studies of PV Potential on landmark buildings in Brisbane

IEA PVPS Trends in PV Applications 2016

For the media release go here.

The “Trends Report” is one of the IEA PVPS’ flagship publications and a worldwide reference regarding the global photovoltaic market development. The unique series of “Trends Reports” has covered the transition of PV technology from its early and expensive niche market developments in the 1990s to the recent large scale global deployment and increased competitiveness. In contrast to 2014, 2015 has seen an impressive growth and acceleration of the global market deployment with about 50,7 GW of additional installed capacity, 26,5% above 2014, of which about 40 GW were installed in IEA PVPS member countries (2014: 34 GW). As in 2014, China, Japan and the USA lead this important growth, accounting for 33 GW of installed capacity in these 3 countries alone. 8 countries have installed more than 1 GW while another 7 countries have markets above 300 MW. The globally installed total PV capacity is estimated at roughly 228 GW at the end of 2015. Although the price reduction for PV systems has continued its trend for a slower decline in 2015, this year (2016) shows evidence of a more rapid cost reduction, in parallel with a trend towards higher overcapacities in the industry. Concerning PV generation costs and more precisely recently contracted power purchase agreements (PPAs), new record values of below 3 USDcents/kWh have been announced, confirming what is achievable today under very good market and solar resource conditions.

Germany: Impact of solar eclipse on system security

This report covers a retrospective view on early evaluations of the effects of the solar eclipse on March 20th 2015 on the German energy supply system.

It can be downloaded here

It gives an overview of the German and European power system operation from a preparation stage to a real-time operation as a successful practice of the solar eclipse.

The problem-free operation of the German energy supply system with about 37 GWp of installed PV capacity during the solar eclipse  shows that the integration of renewable energies into the supply system has already made great progress. The European case described in this report demonstrates that with high awareness and international communication the impact on an energy supply system, and the available and needed measures to safely operate it during the event, can be successfully estimated. The lessons learned described here might be a guide for upcoming events with even higher penetration of PV.

PV in Australia 2015

The media release summary can be found here.

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

PV Soft Costs Survey

Soft costs are the non-hardware costs associated with PV installation.

The International Energy Agency PV Power Systems program (IEA PVPS) is running an international survey into Soft Costs and Timelines for PV System Installations. This report summarises the responses of 37 organisations from the Australian PV industry.

PV in Australia 2014

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

 

APVI Discussion Paper on SAPN Pricing Proposal July 2015

This Discussion Paper is written in response to South Australia Power Network’s (SAPN’s) Pricing Proposal of 21 May 2015. Although it does focus on specific aspects of their Pricing Proposal, our comments on PV-specific tariffs and Cost-Reflective Pricing are relevant to all DNSPs. The APVI intends to release a more broad-ranging Discussion Paper on the complexities of cost-reflective pricing in due course.

PV in Australia 2013

The APVI represents Australia in the IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

PV in Australia Reports 1997 to 2012

The APVI represents Australia in the IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

You can download the individual reports, or a zipped folder of all the reports, from 1997 to 2012 below.

Zipped file of all reports (7.7 Mb)

2012 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2011 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2010 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2009 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2008 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2007 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2006 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2005 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2004 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2003 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2002 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2001 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

2000 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

1999 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

1998 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

1997 PV in Australia Report (pdf)

Impacts of PV, AC, and Other Technologies and Tariffs on Consumer Costs

The uptake of technologies such as air conditioners, PV, solar water heaters and energy efficiency options can both increase or decrease electricity use as well has increase or decrease demand peaks. These effects may not only change electricity costs for the households that use them, but also the costs of other households.

This report quantifies these impacts on both types of households, as well as on networks and retailers.

This report was produced for the Centre for Policy Development, with funding from the Consumer Advocacy Panel.

The project page, which includes a separate Executive Summary and a Promotional Summary, can be found here.

Australian Technical Guidelines for Monitoring and Analysing Photovoltaic Systems

Monitoring of photovoltaic systems is required for the detection of operational issues, and to compare the performance of different systems across a range of technologies and climates. Performance and reliability data can therefore facilitate appropriate system design and technology choice, and in the long term, establish credible expectations about PV system performance.

The purpose of this guideline is to provide recommendations for monitoring and analysis of the performance and reliability of flat plate grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems in Australia.

This guideline was developed primarily with reference to the following documents, with adaptations for current and emerging needs and Australian conditions:

 IEC Standard 61724: Photovoltaic system performance monitoring – Guidelines for measurement, data exchange and analysis

 European Commission 6th Framework Programme: Monitoring guidelines for photovoltaic systems

This document offers guidance on which parameters should be measured, how they should be measured and the frequency of measurement for the following seven uses of PV performance and reliability data:

1. Performance assessment of PV technologies under outdoor conditions – a. Basic monitoring, and b. Detailed monitoring

2. Performance diagnostics

3. Degradation and uncertainty analysis with time

4. Understanding/reducing system losses via comparisons to modelled performance data

5. Forecasting PV performance

6. Interaction of PV systems with the electricity network

7. Integration of distributed generation, storage and load control

PV integration on Australian distribution networks: Literature review

A literature review was conducted by the University of NSW of the publically-available information concerning PV integration on Australian distribution networks.

This review provides an overview of electricity distribution in Australia and the amount of PV that is currently installed. It also summarises the Australian standards, state-based regulations and DNSP policies that apply to the connection of PV systems, as well as a range of submissions and presentations that have been made by DNSPs to government enquiries and at industry conferences.

Magnetic Island High Penetration Case Study

This APVA report presents the results of a case study undertaken into technical issues posed by growing PV penetrations in the distribution networks of Magnetic Island and the adjacent city of Townsville in North Queensland, Australia, and their management by the local network utility, Ergon Energy.

High and growing penetrations of mainly small, distributed PV systems exist within Ergon Energy’s distribution network. Magnetic Island is one such example of high PV penetration with peak PV penetration (PV generation contribution to meeting load) of 34% for the whole island during September 2012. The majority of the PV systems on Magnetic Island are small scale (< 10 kW) residential systems, with several larger systems of up to 22 kW and one 100 kW system at the public Solar Skate Park. Magnetic Island and Townsville Solar City provide a particularly useful case study as there has been extensive metering of the PV systems installed under the Solar Cities program; a number of trials have been conducted relevant to managing high penetrations of PV, some of which are described in this case study; and Townsville has hosted a number of high profile PV systems.

While the PV output does not coincide with peak loads on Magnetic Island (driven by residential air-conditioning on summer evenings) PV does contribute to overall reduced loading on the network and, importantly, deloads the network during daylight hours on these peak days, that tend to be very sunny. To date, some voltage issues have arisen in high impedance sections of the network but these have been successfully resolved through network balancing, adjustment and minor augmentation. Despite some concerns about the potential for PV system islanding, no instances have yet been recorded. Minor reverse power flow has not caused any network operation problems, while inverters have not produced significant harmonics nor caused power factor issues.

This case study, prepared by UNSW with the active involvement of Ergon Energy and funded by ASI and ARENA, is the third in a series of case studies aimed to give Australian and international audiences insight into some of the key technical challenges and management options to facilitate high PV penetrations in Australian electricity networks. These case studies are being undertaken as a part of a broader ARENA supported research project entitled “Support for Australian participation in an international RD&D collaboration on Photovoltaics – IEA PVPS Task 14: High penetration of photovoltaic systems in electricity grids”.

A key objective of this research project is to facilitate the integration of higher PV penetrations in Australia and internationally. To coincide with an international Task 14 meeting in Australia, a high PV penetration workshop with local and international speakers will be held in Sydney on Tuesday 26 November 2013. Please contact greg@apva.org.au for further details.