This presentation was delivered by Solahart at Australian Solar Energy Society 2010, and gives an overview of Australia’s Solar Water Heating (SWH) market over the past decade. At present, it estimates that 660,000 solar water heaters are installed across Australia, compared with 4,250,000 electric water heaters.
Although SWH sector growth has typically exceeded that of electric water heating in recent years, 2011 is projected to see a decline in total sales. Solahart attribute this to inconsistent government policy and support. Whereas in January 2010 solar water heaters cost only $2000 (Australian), a reduction of the NSW rebate to $300 and the federal government rebate from $1,600 to $1,000 over the course of the year has increased the price for a full system to $3000.
There are however promising signs for the future. A 2009 survey qualified that 50% of Australian consumers actively want to switch to SWH, while the Australian government has promised policies to phase out electric heaters in 2012. However, without consistent and sufficient support delivered to the fledgling SWH sector, it will be difficult for technology to fully commercialise in the near future.
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