A Heidelberg West solar panel company is experiencing unprecedented growth at a time when other markets are still struggling from the hangover of the global financial crisis.

SolarGen chief executive Marcus Denning said sales figures had been “going up and up” since the Federal Government introduced solar panel rebates of up to $8000 in November 2007, and the National Solar Schools Program last July.

SolarGen, providing installation services nationally, has quadrupled in size in less than a year.

“We had 10 people in December … we’ve now got 42,” Mr Denning said. “A vast majority of them came in around May … to cope with the massive demand.”

The rebates have concluded, but the industry is experiencing a second wave of customers who made the June 8 cut-off date for the rebates, but whose applications have only just been approved.

“About 53,000 applications are being approved nationally, so the entire industry, as far as getting stock into the country, is struggling to keep up with the demand,” Mr Denning said.

The demand from schools has been so high the Federal Government suspended the National Solar Schools Program on October 15 after claims met the 2009-10 Budget allocation. “We’ve got about 40 schools in the pipeline,” Mr Denning said.

An “emerging commercial market” was now indicated, he said.

The Australian Securities Exchange said last month that trading for renewable energy certificates would begin on Tuesday, November 24, with carbon credits to follow in early 2010.

The announcement came after the Federal Government passed legislation requiring 20 per cent of the nation’s power to come from renewable sources by 2020.

The certificates, which each represents one megawatt hour of electricity generated from renewable energy, are earned by installing solar panels, wind turbines and small-scale hydroelectric projects.

“Renewable energy certificates, they’re the new currency,” Mr Denning said.

Source : http://whereilive.com.au/

Date : 5 November 2009