Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Solar boom

Sales of solar electricity systems to Australian households are growing exponentially.

Australian Solar InstallationThe graph, from Australian government figures, shows solar electricity installation per month.

This growth is occurring despite the Australian government imposing a means test on its rebates. The test currently limits rebate payments to households earning less than $100,000 a year. It was introduced in an effort to cool what Peter Garrett, Australia's Environment Minister, referred to as an overheated market.

In the middle of 2008, when the solar rebate means test is introduced, there is a momentary pause in growth but sales quickly expand again.

The results support reports from many in the solar industry. The industry says people on lower incomes, particularly pensioners, are willing to invest in smart green power. People will pay capital now for future savings.


  1. Just wondering, what's the evidence that pensioners are embracing green technologies like smart green power?

  2. The data is, unfortunately, limited. Anecdotally solar companies will tell you that around 50% of their sales are to retired people. The graph above also shows sales are not impacted when the $100,000 means test for solar rebates is introduced in Australia. This also tends to support the anecdotal evidence. It would be fantastic to have the analysis of solar rebates by age demographic but I've not seen this yet.