Top News

Hi-tech energy storage center opens at Deakin University

The new StorEnergy centre - supported with a $4.4 million Federal Government grant - will produce battery materials on a commercial scale and seek to increase knowledge and develop innovative solutions for Australia's energy needs.
Markets & Policy

EU Commission presents ‘historic’ European Green Deal plan

Described as “historic”, the draft outlines the future climate protection course of the European Union. Overall, the EU should become climate neutral by 2050, and trigger €1 trillion in investment. €1 billion is expected to be made available for ...
Manufacturing

Risen Energy unveils 500 Wp+ half cut mono PERC modules

The PV manufacturer announced the development of the new solar panels, which feature new M12 series monocrystalline wafers, at a conference on Thursday in the Chinese city of Ningbo. The 50-cell modules are actually slightly bigger than 72-cell designs w...
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Installations

Walking on sunshine

Chinese scientists have developed a PV floor tile they say is suitable for pavements and cycling tracks. The devices were tested on a ‘green deck’ in Hong Kong. The developers say the tiles have demonstrated satisfactory solar energy conversion, anti...
Installations

AEMO calls for over 30 GW of solar and wind to replace coal-fired generation by 2040

To fill the gap left by retiring coal-fired plants, the Australian Energy Market Operator forecasts that Australia should invest in a further 30-47 GW of new large-scale wind and solar projects by 2040. At the end of the outlook period, AEMO projects tha...
Technology

100% renewables means 95% less water consumption for conventional power generation

According to a new study by Finland’s LUT University, solar PV consumes between 2% and 15% of the water that coal and nuclear power plants use to produce just 1 MWh of output; for wind, this percentage ranges from 0.1% to 14%. Under the researchers’ ...
Installations

Australian blockchain to track renewable energy credits for Japanese utility

Japan's second-largest utility KEPCO has extended a demonstration project with Australia’s pioneer in P2P energy trading Power Ledger to create and track renewable energy certificates and trade PV-generated electricity.
EV

Queensland set to get its first 100% electric delivery truck

Queensland gets its first 100% electric delivery vehicle as Ikea's newest form of transport hit the road.
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Press Releases

sonnen receives Australia’s Research and Development Investment Award

sonnen has won an award from The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment (MTTI) for its direct investment in Elizabeth, South Australia to manufacture sonnenBatteries bringing new skills and capabilities to Australia and creating export opportunities for its home batteries to Asia Pacific.

EPA releases draft greenhouse gas emissions guideline

Under a new draft guideline released by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) today, proponents of major greenhouse gas emitting projects will need to show how they can reasonably and practicably avoid, reduce, and offset emissions to contribute to the State’s aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.

Wollongong council adopts net zero emissions by 2030 target

Wollongong City Council voted unanimously last night to adopt an aspirational emissions reduction target of net zero emissions by 2030 for its own operations.

Solis hybrid inverters and LG Chem deliver solar-plus-storage solution for homeowners

Ginlong Technologies (Stock Code: 300763. SZ), a global leader in photovoltaic string inverter manufacturing, announces that its Solis storage inverter is now compatible with LG home battery RESU.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Module prices continue to slide

After China’s National Day holiday, demand started picking up at a slow pace, but the anticipated installation rush did not occur as expected, due to land and financing issues, as well as the return of winter. These factors will also delay the timing of more than 6 GW of capacity to the first half of next year. PV InfoLink has thus downwardly revised its estimates for installed capacity in the fourth quarter to 11.3 GW in China and 30 GW globally, bringing this year’s global demand forecast to below 120 GW.

Let’s Talk Losses

Last week two things happened related to rule changes on losses. The AEMC released a draft determination, rejecting the proposal to move to Average Loss Factors (ALF). They also held a working group for COGATI which proposes dynamic marginal loss factors.

The journey to NEM 2.0

Australia made its first moves to open up its energy industry in the 1990s, when the National Electricity Market (NEM) was first created, and many of the rules and regulations from back then are still in place today. But the rise of renewables in the 21st century, argues Clean Energy Investor Group Chair Rob Grant, necessitates a rethink of this market structure.

Same same but different module

Utility-scale solar is booming in Australia. Quality assurance, especially solar panel testing, helps achieve better performance and lower costs. Best-practice testing is key, writes Michelle McCann, managing partner at PV Lab Australia, but must be planned and fully integrated into a project from an early stage. This integration ensures flow-through from panel manufacturers to commercial buyers and large project owners.

The race has only just begun

The Australian utility-scale PV and wind industries have just gone through a record two years of construction and commissioning. More specifically, writes Rystad Energy’s David Dixon, utility-scale PV has transformed from a megawatt-scale market to one measured in gigawatts. The resultant boom in utility-scale PV in the country has attracted developers, EPCs and OEMs, from at home and across the globe.

Safety is paramount

When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.

Markets & Policy

Featured

ARENA boosts Sustainable Australia Fund, more renewables access for small businesses

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is set to aid small businesses become more sustainable with the announcement of expanded funding for the Sustainable Australia Fund (SAF). The funding will help to provide more access to renewable energies and other low-cost energy-efficient upgrades for local businesses.

Investors learn about Tasmania’s green hydrogen potential

Tasmania has approached international investors to present its unique potential for the production of hydrogen from renewable sources as it seeks to emerge at the forefront of the nation’s green hydrogen push.

NSW Minister Matt Kean doesn’t beat around the burning bush

New South Wales (NSW) Energy & Environment Minister Matt Kean’s address at the Smart Energy Council’s (SEC) National Smart Energy Summit was full of sharp statements and strong solar support.

ARENA announces major research funding into end-of-life solar PV issues

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced $15 million in research funding to investigate the end-of-life issues for solar PV panels. Ultimately it is hoped the research increases solar PV efficiency and lowers the cost.

Europe on track for decade-topping 16.7 GW of new solar this year

Trade body SolarPower Europe’s preliminary statistics suggest this could be the continent’s best year for PV since 2010, with capacity additions set to soar 104% year on year. Spain is leading the way with an expected 4.7 GW of new solar, followed by Germany, with 4 GW.

160 MW solar farm approved in the Dubbo region

Labelled as a state significant development, the Maryvale Solar Farm has received a regulatory nod, opening the way for construction work to begin. The project is owned by Photon Energy, Canadian Solar and Polpo Investments.

Installations

Steel yourselves, Swinburne researcher utilises solar to decarbonise steel

Swinburne PhD candidate Suneeti Purohit’s remarkable double innovation utilises solar power to decarbonise the steel industry and save iron ore miners money.

Greenough River stage two back on schedule

The second stage of the Greenough River Solar Farm is set for completion in the second quarter of 2020. Its developer has reported that module installation is well underway at the site.

AEMO chief says 25% of Australia’s electricity will come from rooftop solar PV by 2040

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) CEO Audrey Zibelman has turned heads at the Smart Energy Council’s National Smart Energy Summit in Sydney, saying that by 2040, 25% of Australia’s electricity will be produced by rooftop solar PV.

Sterling & Wilson begins construction of 200 MW solar project in NSW

Two years after announcing its market entry, the India-based EPC heavyweight has commenced construction of its first Australian project.

Ambitious 1 GW agrivoltaic livestock farming project announced in Malaysia

The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute is planning a huge solar power project which will integrate agriculture and livestock farming in the Sabah region. The research institute claims to have already secured $50 million for the project’s first, 200 MW phase. The 25,000ha required for the projects will host up to 150,000 cattle as well as cultivation of forage crops such as kenaf, corn, wheat and hay.

SolarEdge smart panel: “Quick installations give me time for more quotes in the afternoon”

With all the benefits of its power optimization and smart monitoring system, SolarEdge’s new Smart Panels allows for quick installation, with the array’s key components all covered “under the same umbrella.” For installer Joe Harvey from SEA Solutions on the NSW Central Coast, the new integrated module offering has reduced costs for both him and his customers: “We’ve found that everyone wins.”

Technology

Featured

Coalition eyes 50% renewables target despite everything it has said and done to the contrary

Despite lambasting Labour’s 50% renewable ambition by 2030 as fanciful, the Government’s 2019 Emissions Projects Report shows that the country will reach that mark of its own accord, with very little help from the Coalition government.

Australia lacks interest in EVs, global study finds

A global study has found that Australia lacks interest in EVs, a finding due largely to the impedimental admixture of cost, range anxiety and lack of charging options.

Electricity prices to drop, thanks largely to influx of new renewables

The AEMC’s annual report on electricity price trends predicts the continued fall in electricity prices around Australia. The trend, says the AEMC, is driven in some large part by the influx of renewable energy generation.

Greentech raises funds for greenhouse gas-to-hydrogen investment, eyes $100m Australian opportunity

California-based Greentech startup ReCarbon, which recycles greenhouse gases by converting them into hydrogen, is targeting a big Australian investment.

Epho commences construction of its first urban solar farm

Construction is underway on the first urban solar farm to harness the power of clean energy using Epho’s Bright Thinkers Power Station. The technology overcomes various constraints for solar in the city allowing installations to operate both behind and in front of the meter.

Victoria proposes cuts to minimum feed-in tariffs

Victoria’s Essential Services Commission has proposed electricity retailers should offer PV owners the option to choose between a single rate feed-in tariff and a time-varying feed-in tariff, and set lower minimum rates for both.

Manufacturing

Another day, another $483m – of Longi production capacity plans

The Shaanxi-based solar manufacturer has made its 14th announcement this year of an intent to expand its ingot, wafer, cell and module output. Thus far – and we’re still three weeks short of year-end – the bill for the 112 GW of extra production spelled out in 2019 comes to a near $4.2 billion.

New battery brand enters Australian market with plans for local recycling

The first commercial shipment of China-made Soluna batteries has reached the Australian shores. The new battery brand will be sold locally by a joint venture between Lithium Australia and China’s DLG Group.

Assessing metal leaching from PV modules dumped in landfill

An Indian research team has analyzed around 300 scientific studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.

Stockland offers discounted solar and batteries to 25,000 households

Residents of Stockland homes will be able to get a discount on their rooftop solar and batteries thanks to a new national scheme recently launched by the property developer.

Golden by name, Golden by nature, Melbourne family reaps solar rewards

In a classic example of nominative determinism, like Usain Bolt running as fast as a bolt of lightning or Bulgaria’s ill-fated 400m hurdler Vania Stambolova, the Golden family of Clifton Hill take advantage of golden sunlight to power their home.

Orderly disorder: Cambridge scientists make surprising perovskite discovery

Researchers have made a finding they say could vastly simplify and reduce the production cost of perovskite solar cells. Working with mixed halide perovskites, the group found a disordered chemical composition can improve device efficiency.

Energy Storage

Featured

BYD to introduce next-generation Battery-Box in 2020

The Chinese manufacturer has also announced plans for a tenfold production capacity increase, as it wants to cater to all project sizes with two versions of its high-voltage storage system.

Pernod Ricard becomes first Australian winemaker to switch to 100% renewables

All of the winemaker’s Australian sites are now using renewable electricity thanks to the completion of the nation’s largest combined winery solar installation and a 10-year power purchase agreement to source renewable electricity.

Marinus Link project firms after positive early reports

Tasmania’s ambitions of becoming the Battery of the Nation improve after early reports on the proposed Marinus Link, a second interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria, show the project’s economic advantages far outweigh expected costs.

Another Riverina solar project gets go-ahead

The 90 MW West Wyalong Solar Farm has become the latest addition to the swelling solar PV pipeline in the Riverina region having secured the NSW Government’s approval.

Survey finds Australians lack solar understanding, industry to step up

A recent survey commissioned by Redback Technologies has found that almost a third of Australians lack understanding of solar, another barrier to the adoption by Australians of integrated solar and battery systems. pv magazine Australia sat down with Redback Technologies CEO Patrick Matweew to discuss.

1414 Degrees to power abandoned Aurora CSP site with PV and thermal storage

Adelaide-based energy storage specialist 1414 Degrees has announced plans to acquire SolarReserve Australia II, which owns the Aurora Solar Energy Project in South Australia and two solar sites in New South Wales. The company proposes to use the Aurora site to build a massive 400 MW solar farm with progressive thermal storage capacity to several thousand MWh.

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