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Saturday read: Battery performance, uncovered

Batteries are taking the energy world by storm. From residential home storage systems to large-scale installations, today’s society increasingly relies on powerful batteries. And, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility. But, how can we ensure that our use of batteries today is responsible, cost-effective, or even safe? Kai-Philipp Kairies, CEO of Accure Battery Intelligence, shares some of his experience gained from monitoring more than 750 MWh of various storage applications.
Energy Storage

AGL secures planning approval for proposed Loy Yang big battery

Australia’s largest energy gen-tailer AGL says it has received approval for a 200 MW/800 MWh grid-scale battery to be developed at the site of its coal-fired Loy Yang power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
Installations

Shoalhaven solar farm serves as roadmap for others say developers

The developers of a $5 million community-driven solar farm in the New South Wales Shoalhaven region believe the 3.9 MWp facility can serve as a model for other communities looking to launch their own renewable projects.
Announcements

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pv magazine Annual Award 2021: open for entries

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Entries are currently being accepted for the awards across six categories: Modules, Inverters, Balance of System (BoS), Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), Sustainability, and Manufacturing. Enter free today to go in the running to be a 2021 winner!

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EV

VSUN tests flow battery technology with standalone EV charger

Australian energy storage company VSUN Energy claims to have identified the ‘missing piece of the renewable energy jigsaw’ after successfully testing a standalone electric vehicle battery charger using solar PV supplied by a vanadium redox flow batte...
Markets & Policy

Utilities and financial investors are investing in renewables, especially hydrogen, like never before

A new Ernst & Young power and utilities overview report shows that utilities and other deep-pocketed investors are putting financial support behind their environmental, social and governance initiatives.
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Installations

South Korea’s largest floating PV plant now online

The 41 MW facility was built by Korean developer Scotra with solar modules provided by South Korea-based manufacturer Hanwha Q-Cells. It was deployed on a water reservoir at the Hapcheon dam, in the South Gyeongsang province.
Markets & Policy

Renewables to drive down prices as fossil-fuel generators exit NEM

Ongoing growth in both renewable generation capacity, including rooftop solar, large-scale wind and solar, and dispatchable power in the form of big batteries is expected to drive down household power bills across the National Electricity Market in the c...
Hydrogen

States stake claim for green hydrogen as Australia partners with Germany on project

Australian governments and industry have embraced the potential of green hydrogen with a flurry of project announcements, including the Western Australian Government providing almost $120 million to establish two renewable hydrogen hubs, Edify Energy sig...

Press Releases

AGL powers Salvation Army sites across Australia in new partnership

AGL will install solar energy systems across more than 850 Salvation Army sites, in a new partnership to support the Salvos reduce operational costs and become a more sustainable organisation.

New laws to support offshore electricity infrastructure

Parliament has endorsed a package of new laws which will support the development of Australia’s offshore energy industry and deliver new jobs and investment in offshore windfarms and transmission projects.

Tritium opens world-class EV charger testing facility

Tritium Holding, global developer and manufacturer of direct current (DC) fast-charging technology for electric vehicles (EVs), has opened a world-class compliance testing facility at the company’s Brisbane, Australia headquarters.

ARENA to lead Australia-Germany’s HyGATE initiative

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced that it will play a key role in the development and delivery of the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator known as HyGATE.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

We must rapidly decarbonise road transport – but hydrogen’s not the answer

Hydrogen has been touted as the fuel of the future, and the technology features prominently in the Morrison government’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Is gas or storage the ideal dispatchable replacement for coal? A NSW case study

Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. Octopus Investments Australia’s Investment Director of Energy Markets, Lumi Adisa, takes a Lion King-themed deep dive into New South Wales to find out what comes after coal.

When EVs can’t get a purchase …

Car subscription services are not considered in government EV policies at either a state or federal level in Australia, yet studies show they are growing as a preferred way to access a good, clean drive.

COP26: it’s half-time at the crucial Glasgow climate change summit – and here’s the score

The first week of the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow are drawing to a close. While there’s still a way to go, progress so far gives some hope the Paris climate agreement struck six years ago is working.

What is COP26, and why is it important?

Here’s the rundown of everything you need to know about the upcoming Glasgow Climate Summit.

Between the lines, Morrison’s plan has coal on the way out, with the future bright

The most striking feature of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s long-term emissions reduction plan outlined on Tuesday is not the long-telegraphed commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050, or the promise of a $20 billion clean energy program (around 0.2% of national income annually).

Covid-19

Featured

Module and shipping cost inflation could cost the world 50 GW of solar next year

The input costs of the two biggest contributors to solar plant development expense have gone through the roof since the world began to come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, to leave project developers with some difficult choices.

Sunday read: A decisive movement in module prices

The sky is the limit. Fortunately, this expression does not apply to current prices for PV panels, which have recently declined, following a continuous rise since the beginning of the year. Whether this situation holds, or whether prices drop further in the coming months is hard to say at the moment, writes Martin Schachinger of pvXchange. Polysilicon prices and thus wafer and cell prices could be in for a slight decline. However, a decisive movement in module prices in general is unlikely before the fourth quarter.

Looking beyond 5-minute settlement to tariff models that show how flexible energy retailers can be

Processing nightmare, or product opportunity? Impending five-minute settlement comes at a difficult time for energy retailers. Software from across the ditch could help highlight the benefits and opportunities of more solar and a forecast uptick in battery energy storage.

‘Polysilicon shortage will continue through 2021’

The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.

Sterling and Wilson Solar’s order book grew 72% in FY2021, despite Australian subcontractor’s bankruptcy

Despite the growth, one-off exceptional events in the fourth quarter hit the solar EPC’s overall fiscal performance. These included a prime subcontractor going bankrupt in Australia, rising module prices, and increased freight costs.

100+ businesses band together to demand 1% of GDP be allocated to clean energy in May budget

More than 100 Australian businesses, including some of the country’s largest, have banded together to put pressure on government to commit at least 1% of GDP to a green energy recovery in the May budget and to ensure a more equitable transition to renewables for marginalised Australians.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Spark $5.2bn takeover secures foreign investment approval

Spark Infrastructure looks set to be sold off with the Foreign Investment Review Board giving its tick of approval for a North American consortium led by private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to acquire the Australian electricity network operator.

Solar manufacturers respond to dire stock shortfalls

As Australia, like much of the world, battles shortfalls in supply with solar module prices rising and Chinese companies’ stocks decreasing, the country’s only manufacturer, Tindo Solar, has opted to release emergency stocks. Likewise, Chinese giant Longi is working to guarantee supply for Australia, saying its vertical integration has afforded it extra security.

‘Inexpensive line of supply no longer acceptable’: federal politicians move on consequential ban for solar industries

Members of both the upper and lower houses of Parliament are moving to ban the importation of goods made with forced labour by introducing a bill which, if passed, would have profound repercussions for Australia’s solar industry.

Australia removes much-criticised DC isolator mandate

Following years of lobbying, the Standards Australia Committee has removed the requirement for rooftop solar installations to include a DC isolator.

Queensland cleantech company wins grant to build manufacturing base in Australia

Brisbane’s eleXsys Energy has won a government grant which will allow the company behind Australia’s largest grid-connected microgrid to build its manufacturing base here in Australia.

“Crickey!” Rooftop solar makes South Australia the world’s first gigawatt-scale system to hit negative demand 

Rooftop solar drove two negative demand events in South Australia on Sunday, November 21, events which analysts are describing as a world-first for a gigawatt-scale power system.

Installations

Featured

Consistency shines bright in battery storage testing

Independent battery performance and reliability tester ITP Renewables has been running its trial of solar storage batteries since 2016. Over the years one of the broad conclusions to be drawn is that home storage systems are by no means reliable across the board. However, some few systems stand out, including Fimer’s hybrid solar inverter and storage solution, the React 2.

Sunday read: Up to code for decarbonisation

The International Energy Agency predicts that India will record the world’s fastest growth in energy consumption from buildings through 2040. The energy demand could create a big market for solar installers and equipment providers, particularly in the commercial and industrial sector. While building codes now include provisions for renewable energy integration, effective implementation will be key to ensuring compliance, reports Uma Gupta.

6 GW green hydrogen project powered by solar and wind proposed for SA

Kallis Energy Investments is proposing a whopping 6 GW renewable hydrogen project in South Australia, with founder Terry Kallis telling pv magazine Australia the project will not seek to connect its 3 GW of planned solar and wind assets to the already congested grid.

Three solar farms in NSW reach financial close

Greek company Mytilineos has reached financial close on all three of its 40 MWp solar farms in New South Wales, marking an important milestone in the company’s strategic move into the Australian market.

Victorian Solar Homes program reaches 1 GW of energy capacity

After a controversial beginning, the Victorian Solar Homes Program recovered and is now setting new records. From the early days when solar installers were forced to protest due to the unintended effects of the policy’s first iteration, to today when more than 165,000 homes have solar as a result of the program, it is fair to say that Victoria is headed into a bright summer.

Scalable turnkey solar carport solution for commercial applications

Japanese energy company Sinanen offers a scalable solar carport that can host a minimum of four vehicles and can be deployed in the parking areas of factories and commercial buildings. The basic system is offered with a minimum capacity of 10.80 kW.

Technology

Featured

California plans 400 MW / 3200 MWh compressed air energy storage project

Hydrostor's plant would be able to deliver 400 MW of electricity for 8 hours, and would be comparable in size to some of California’s largest fossil fuel power plants.

Hyped hydrogen storage company opts to manufacture fuel cells near Brisbane

Queensland continues to attract massive hydrogen industry factories, with LAVO Hydrogen Technology today announcing it would establish a fuel cell manufacturing facility just south of Brisbane.

Queensland to build “common-user” vanadium processing plant

The Queensland government will put “at least” $10 million towards constructing a common-user facility to process vanadium from the state’s vast deposits, allowing multiple small mining operations to access the facility with the ambition of kickstarting downstream battery storage industries in the state.

UK business claims to have ‘world’s most sustainable lithium-ion battery’

English manufacturer Aceleron claims every component of its devices can be accessed for replacement, repair or recycling, with the business’ co-founder stating the aim is to ensure ‘100% of the materials in our batteries will continue to be used for as long as possible – preferably forever.’

3D solid-state thin film battery from the Netherlands

Developed by a spin-off of Dutch research institute TNO, the battery is claimed to offer higher energy density, longer lifespan and increased safety compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. It will initially be applied in wearables and electric cars.

Novel solar cell architecture to reduce silver costs, improve voltage

Developed by a U.S.-based start-up, the new manufacturing process is claimed to reduce silver consumption and improve solar module performance by up to 3 watts. It consists of connecting sub-cells in series within a single cell in order to increase the device voltage and without requiring cells to be physically broken and rewired.

Manufacturing

Featured

Saturday read: Looking past PERC

While the adoption of large-format wafers has driven a wave of capacity expansion for PERC, existing manufacturers and new entrants continue to evaluate TOPCon and HJT. An increasing number of HJT pilot lines and gigawatt-scale capacity expansion projects are appearing, as manufacturers see the advantages of fewer process steps, higher efficiency ratings, and better yield rates. The localisation of equipment is also a driving factor. PV InfoLink’s Derek Zhao offers an update on the latest developments and process routes for HJT.

Brisbane startup unveils first Australian-made home EV charger

Brisbane-based startup Evos has unveiled its first electric vehicle charger, boasting simple installation and transportability as well as the company’s own energy management software. The charger will be available from next month.

Fortescue already approved for world’s largest electrolyser production plant in Queensland

Fortescue Future Industries, founded by billionaire Andrew Forrest, has already received planning approval for its 2 GW electrolyser factory at Gladstone despite announcing the plan just five weeks ago.

Indian government expands budget for PV manufacturing scheme

The Indian authorities have announced plans to provide more funding to help more manufacturers under its production-linked incentives scheme, which is designed to support gigawatt-scale manufacturing of high-efficiency solar modules.

Reuse or replace? Analysis considers all options for underperfoming PV modules

In a new report, experts from the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA-PVPS) have assessed the economical and environmental benefits of repairing and reusing or replacing solar modules that are not complying with a 30-year expected lifetime. They found that reusing offers the best environmental impact in all cases, while the profitability of this option is currently guaranteed only by rooftop PV under certain conditions. As for large-scale solar, module replacement remains the most competitive option.

Saturday read: Cloud looms over PV’s silver lining

Should heterojunction solar technologies be temporarily shelved? Could copper plating replace screen-printed silver conductive surfaces in cells? Why are tandem cells a likely successor to PERC? Brett Hallam recently sat down with Natalie Filatoff in Sydney to explain the findings of a new study by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) that sought to answer these controversial questions.

Energy Storage

Featured

The energy storage decade has arrived, says BNEF

BloombergNEF says falling battery costs and “surging” renewables penetration make energy storage a “compelling flexible resource in many power systems.” Australia is among the predicted top markets.

How to convert coal mine goaves into pumped hydro storage facilities

According to Chinese researchers, using abandoned coal mine goaves for pumped hydro facilities in combination with large scale solar and wind is not only technically feasible but can also provide an efficiency of 82.8% in yearly operation cases. They applied the model to wind and solar-rich northwestern and southwestern China.

Redox flow battery with capacity retention of 99.98% per cycle

The battery was fabricated by Chinese scientists with a low-cost electrolyte made of a derivative of TEMPO, which is a well-known electroactive aminoxyl radical used with several applications in chemistry and biochemistry. According to the researchers, the battery shows high redox potential and is crossover-free.

Investability of Australian large-scale renewables remains low

COP flack for Australia’s insubstantial and unstructured response to decarbonisation has not made the country more attractive to investors. Has our first-mover status cruelled our investability, and what could the next Federal Government do to revive investor confidence?

Distribution networks set to shrink: standalone solar hybrid systems are safer, more reliable

Western Australia leads the world in successfully implementing renewables-based energy generation for far-flung customers. Unique joint venture and pioneer in the field, Boundary Power, has been widely recognised for its innovations and is ready to repeat its SAPS successes across Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

Off-grid green hydrogen production in Australia may already be competitive with blue

French energy giant Engie has developed a transfer function method based on a model used to assess PV plant variability. Its researchers claim that the new approach does not overestimate the levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) of an alkaline electrolyser powered by offgrid solar, finding that in Australia green hydrogen produced with such systems may already be cost competitive with blue hydrogen.

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