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‘Remarkable’ jump in solar PV installations even as power prices eased

Australians installed solar panels on their roofs at a record rate last month, soaring almost half as much again as in March a year earlier, before the coronavirus began affecting supply and demand.

Last month, installers registered 54 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic systems of 100 kilowatts or smaller, 44 per cent more than in March 2019, according to analysis of data from the Clean Energy Regulator by consultants, Green Energy Markets.

Rooftop solar panel installations soared to record highs in both March and the first quarter of 2020.

Rooftop solar panel installations soared to record highs in both March and the first quarter of 2020.Credit:Vicky Hughson

“To have 40 per cent growth on the same period in 2019 – and last year was seen as exceptional – is really remarkable,” Tristan Edis, an analyst with Green Energy Markets, said. “It’s above what we were expecting.”

The new capacity, which included 32,000 individual systems, was also up almost a fifth on the February tally – the previous record monthly total.

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