Australian government orders solar install quality investigation

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Australia’s environment minister Greg Hunt has ordered an inquiry into the quality of solar system installations.

The move follows an investigation by Fairfax Media, the publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald, which claimed that systems were failing after as little as one year.

The minister has reportedly written to the Clean Energy Council (CEC) demanding that it open an investigation within a week. The CEC runs an accreditation scheme that gives installers' systems eligibility to the government support.

Hunt has clashed publicly with the solar industry in recent months, launching a personal attack on John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Council, over its campaign targeting marginal seats. Hunt called Grimes “a total failure of an industry leader” during a radio interview.

While the report and the response by Hunt can be construed as political, a survey by the consumer watchdog, Choice, found high incidences of consumer dissatisfaction with the quality for the solar installs.

It found in January that 32% PV owners had an issue with their installer and 25% had experienced problems with their system itself. One in 10 people said they had had to replace their inverter.

These figures are far higher than those found by the government’s own Clean Energy Regulator. In a survey carried out through 2013, it found that 3.3% of almost 4,000 tested systems were unsafe and 9.7% were substandard.

The country has been embroiled in a bitter debate on renewable energy since prime minister Tony Abbott came to power. Funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency was curtailed and the country’s Renewable Energy Target still faces an uncertain future.

Read Next

March 2, 2021
With three years of financial and business data available, we can start to analyse a number of possible trends, one of these is the changing landscape surrounding Sunnova's supplier base for PV modules, inverters and energy storage.
March 2, 2021
Spain should limit the size of new solar parks to encourage the deployment of smaller projects located closer to consumers, the country’s National Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers (ANPIER) has said.
March 2, 2021
Israeli robotic solar panel cleaning business Ecoppia is laying the ground for global expansion and expanding on its data capabilities following its recent initial public offering (IPO).
March 2, 2021
‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member Trina Solar is to establish a 10GW large-area, high-efficiency PV module assembly plant at the Yancheng Economic and Technological Development Zone, north of Shanghai.
March 2, 2021
Major China-based polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy has signed a three-year high-purity polysilicon supply agreement with Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS), totalling 41,000MT.
March 2, 2021
A round-up of solar news from across the United States, including updates from EDF Renewables, utility group Exelon and UK-based investor SDLC.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
March 9, 2021
Solar Media Events
March 17, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021