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High electricity costs, policy support driving deployment of rooftop PV panels globally

Global rooftop PV capacity is expected to reach nearly 95 GW by 2025, Rystad said. Image: Sun Common.

Solar capacity installed on rooftops globally is on track to increase by 61% between 2021 and 2025, as political support encourages deployment and homeowners seek to mitigate high electricity prices.

That’s according to consultancy Rystad Energy, which has estimated global rooftop PV capacity in 2021 at 59 GW, with growth in recent years driven by growing adoption in China, which accounts for around half of capacity. total.

China’s residential PV deployment reached 21.5GW last year, with the segment’s share of the country’s total solar installations exceeding 40%, according to China’s National Energy Administration. announced in January.

Rystad said nearly 95 GW of rooftop solar panels are expected to be operational globally by 2025, with deployment supported by incentives and policies to promote adoption, particularly feed-in tariffs (FiT ) which guarantee a price above the market for the producers.

Residential, commercial and industrial (C&I) and off-grid projects are all gaining momentum, supported by politics and economics, said Gero Farruggio, head of renewable energy research at Rystad Energy.

“Key drivers of high adoption in the residential sector include high retail electricity costs, low system costs, high FiTs and available rooftop space,” he added.

Besides China, the main markets for rooftop solar deployment are Japan, Germany, the United States and Australia.

Residential solar deployment in the United States hit a new record of 4.2 GWdp last year, with more than 500,000 systems installed for the first time, according to a study published last week by the Solar Energy Industries Association and analyst firm Wood Mackenzie.

Homeowners in states like Texas are increasingly installing both photovoltaic panels on roofs and battery energy storage systems to counter the threat of power outages caused by extreme weather conditions.

The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom dominate the residential solar segment, Rystad said, with three being the only markets on the consultancy’s top ten list for installed rooftop capacity, where most systems are dedicated to powering residential properties. This is due to factors such as FiTs and subsidies, a high proportion of homeowners in these countries and a prevalence of suitable roofs.

Rystad’s analysis also reveals that rooftop PV in the US can be almost five times higher than in Australia due to the significant overhead costs associated with purchasing a system, including sales tax. , permits, inspection and interconnection. While a 3 kW system in Australia costs $0.96/Wdc, it costs $4.6/Wdc in the United States.

The consultancy said that in addition to higher overhead costs, the economics of residential systems are less favorable in the United States given that retail electricity prices (with costs offset) are significantly lower.