While solar panel prices continue to fall in Australia, an interesting trend is emerging. Contrary to the expectation of seeking savings, Australian households are opting for larger solar systems, driven by the desire for higher energy generation capacity.

Solar Panel Prices on the Decline 

According to data from industry analyst SunWiz, solar panel and system prices in Australia have hit their lowest point in 12 months. Wholesale pricing for panels and inverters has been steadily declining in recent months, with December 2023 seeing the average price drop to AUS 1.01 ($0.66)/W, the lowest since May 2022. While one might expect consumers to prioritize cost savings, the reality is quite different.

Consumers Investing in Bigger Systems

Despite the falling prices, Australian households are not choosing to downsize their solar installations. Instead, they are investing around AUD 9,000 per rooftop installation, with a preference for larger systems. In fact, the average system size increased to almost 10.5kW in the final month of 2023.

Interestingly, consumers are not only opting for larger systems but also shifting away from premium components. Previously, premium panels and inverters were the norm, but the trend is changing.

Crossing the 10kW Threshold

This trend towards increased capacity resulted in the average size of a rooftop solar system crossing the 10kW threshold for the first time in December 2023. This increase was driven in part by a surge in commercial installations, pushing the average size to a record-breaking 10.4kW. Notably, the 10-15kW segment saw considerable growth, while 6kW systems have been slowly trending downwards.

Shorter Payback Periods

The positive news is that the payback period for rooftop solar investments is trending downwards. Most installations now pay for themselves in less than five years, with some households in states like Queensland benefiting financially in as little as three years.

Australia’s Leading Role in Solar Adoption

With more than one in three Australian households equipped with rooftop solar systems, the nation boasts the highest penetration of solar power in the world. Australia has reached an impressive milestone of 3.7GW of small-scale solar volume, with approximately 23 million solar projects installed to date.

And Australia’s rooftop solar revolution is showing no signs of slowing down. Despite falling solar panel prices, consumers are opting for bigger systems, prioritizing higher energy generation capacity over immediate cost savings. This trend not only underscores the nation’s commitment to renewable energy but also highlights the financial viability of investing in larger solar installations.

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