12-fold increase in heat pump installations in NSW, rooftop solar continues to set records
Australians have installed a record number of both heat pumps and rooftop solar system this quarter, according to Clean Energy Regulator. If Q4, typically solar’s biggest quarter, proves substantial, the nation could match its annual rooftop record of 3.2 GW set in 2021.
New South Wales has seen a near 12-fold increase in air source heat pump (ASHP) installations this quarter compared to last year. That is, the state installed 60,000 ASHPs in Q3, 2023, up from 5,000 installed in Q3, 2022, the Australian Clean Energy Regulator outlined in its latest Quarterly Carbon Market Report.
Overall, Australia set a new quarterly record for ASHP installations at 34,000. This brings the total to 94,000 systems installed this year to Q3, already surpassing last year’s annual total of 86,000.
The Regulator noted this growth is largely thanks to state-based programs in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Capital Territory which incentivise customers to switch. Queensland recently introduced its Climate Smart Energy Savers rebate, with the Regulator saying it expects the program to drive installations in Queensland.
Australia’s rooftop solar segment is not showing any signs of slowing, with Q3 setting a new record of 88,000 systems with a combined capacity of 813 MW installed. “Typically, the highest capacity is installed in Q4 each year,” the Regulator said. “Hence, we may match the 2021 record of 3.2 GW in 2023 if we see a big Q4.”
It also noted the average rooftop system size increased to 9.3 kW. “In Q3 2023, half of the rooftop solar systems installed had a capacity over 10 kW,” the Regulator added. Systems between 10-15 kW accounted for 27% of total installations.
According to the Regulator’s data, 7% of rooftop solar systems were coupled with batteries – though it noted this data is voluntarily reported “and the real proportion is likely higher.”
Even with this limited data, the Regulator said there has been a 14% increase in reported battery installations this year to September compared to the previous year.