This paper outlines opportunities for, and barriers to, increasing PV deployment on apartment buildings in Australia. With PV penetration reaching 40% of residential dwellings in some parts of the country, access to renewable energy for the 14% of Australians who live in apartments has lagged behind.
Solar is an excellent investment for almost all Australian households, but there are a wide range of savings, depending on the characteristics of household electricity consumption, retail tariffs and roof characteristics. Nevertheless, the majority of households installing a wide range of PV system sizes under different types of tariffs can expect a payback of between 3-7 years.
Despite potential advantages of load aggregation and scale discounts, few of Australia's 2.3 million apartment residents are amongst the country's 1.8 million solar prosumers. However, embedded networks can be used to distribute rooftop photovoltaic generation to households if split incentives and regulatory barriers are overcome.
Over 1.7 Australian households have taken the opportunity to generate some of their own power and reduce both their electricity bills and carbon emissions by installing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes. However, regulatory, technical, financial and organisational challenges have largely prevented Australia's growing number of urban apartment dwellers from accessing these benefits.