Newman accidentally boosts Queensland’s solar industry

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman must have one hell of a solar headache today.

His announcement to cut the 44 cent net feed-in tariff provided the industry and solar consumers with a window of opportunity to sign up before the scheme was switched to 8 cents – and sign up they did.

Energex reported this morning that 75,000 applications were received in the 13 days between the 26th of June and the 9th of July. This is equivalent to roughly 12 applications per minute and 150MW of new capacity (at an average system size of 2kW).

Assuming standard eight hour working days, Premier Newman effectively added 1.4MW of generation capacity per hour to the Queensland’s energy generation capacity.

However, Energex also noted that 31,000 (or 62MW) of those applications were received in a single day. That is an astonishing 1.07 applications per SECOND or 7.8MW per hour on the final day.

The solar systems have to be processed and installed and there is up to one year to do that. It would not be silly to suggest that Queensland solar installers will gear up and quickly install the majority of this new capacity within six months or so to maximise economies of scale.

Put in a state context, Premier Newman just avoided the need for roughly 3.9TWh of coal fired energy over the next 20 years. At a conservative energy cost of $0.20/kWh, Queensland electricity consumers just started down the road to savings of approximately $39 million per year.

Nice (unintentional) work, Premier Newman.

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