Top News

Japanese owner of WA’s Bluewaters coal plant reports worst ever loss in face of energy transition

The Sumitomo Corporation has reported a stunning ¥26bn (US$251m) loss on its Western Australian Bluewaters coal fired power investment. The loss assures the company's worst ever annual performance and comes as a result of international and financial pressure against coal funding.
Markets & Policy

Vast array of global banks revealed as green financiers of 460 MW Western Downs Green Power Hub

Neoen announced last month that it had completed the financing of its 460 MW Western Downs Green Power Hub, but today it has been revealed that said green finance came about through a wide reaching international effort, including seven global banks, a sa...
Installations

NSW’s University of New England switches on its very own solar farm

The University of New England is now well on the way to being 100% powered by solar after switching on its very own 3.2 MW solar farm. However, the university is not quite done yet, with Phase 2 already planned and including an energy storage system.
Announcements

Thank you for joining us for our Virtual Roundtables USA!

Powering a post Covid recovery: Download our white paper!

 

Did you miss our Insight on Quality? Here is the video

#stayhomewithpvmag

Sponsored
Markets & Policy

Clean energy ‘clear winner’ of Victorian state budget with $1.6bn in funding

The Clean Energy Council have called renewable energy the “clear winner” of the Victorian Budget 2020/21, saying the $1.6 billion in allocated in targeted funding represents a landmark for the state.
Markets & Policy

‘Renewable energy superhighway’ linking Victoria to NSW kick started by bilateral funding agreement

Work on a new electricity transmission line linking Victoria and New South Wales is going ahead under a joint funding agreement between Victoria’s state government and the federal coalition.
Sponsored
Sponsored
Energy Storage

Interview: Education, reforms needed to drive quality battery storage

While long hyped, uptake of residential battery storage is continuing to underwhelm, according to BayWa r.e. Solar Systems managing director Durmus Yildiz. In the wake of the Insight on Quality session of the All-Energy Australia virtual conference, Yild...
Installations

Calls for Queensland to follow Victorian lead and extend solar for renters program

Community group Solar Citizens is calling for the Queensland government to expand its solar for renters trial following the release of results which found participating tenants were, on average, $600 a year better off after solar was installed on their r...
Energy Storage

AGL continues large-scale storage surge with 200 MW Loy Yang project

AGL's ambitious 850 MW target of new large-scale battery storage in its portfolio by FY 2024 is seeming less like an opportunity and more like an inevitability with each passing week. Following on from last week's announcement of a 250 MW, four-hour-dura...

Press Releases

Partners Group and CWP create multi-billion dollar integrated renewable power company

Grassroots Renewable Energy and CWP Renewables (CWP) are merging to form one of the largest independent renewable energy power producers in Australia. The merged entity will retain the name CWP Renewables, given the long-standing market recognition for CWP as a leading Australian renewables brand.

SMA signs agreement with Sterling and Wilson for the second largest solar farm in Queensland

SMA has closed a contract with Sterling and Wilson for the 162MW Columboola Solar Farm, the second largest solar farm in Queensland, Australia. 39 Medium Voltage Power Stations and an SMA Power Plant Controller to control the electricity flows in the PV plant will form the backbone of the project.

Victoria prioritises clean energy future with $1.6 billion in budget funding

The Clean Energy Council  says that the announcement of six renewable energy zones (REZs) and funding to boost the sector's workforce capability represents a landmark budget for the state of Victoria.

New Zealand’s largest utility solar power plant transacted using Bitcoin

Kea Energy has begun construction of the largest utility solar plant in New Zealand, with the 2. 5 MW plant situated in Marlborough.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

San Francisco just banned gas in all new buildings. Could it ever happen in Australia?

San Francisco has now joined other US cities in banning natural gas in new homes. The move is in stark contrast to the direction of energy policy in Australia, where the Morrison government seems stuck in reverse: spruiking a gas-led economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSW has joined China, South Korea and Japan as climate leaders. Now it’s time for the rest of Australia to follow

It’s been a busy couple of months in global energy and climate policy. Australia’s largest trading partners – China, South Korea and Japan – have all announced they will reach net-zero emissions by about mid-century. In the United States, the incoming Biden administration has committed to decarbonising its electricity system by 2035.

Renewables & Mines: Taking the heat out of energy storage

Soaring fossil fuel prices have caused the scaling back or closure of Australian mines, resulting in production and job losses at a massive scale. More recently with the added consideration of carbon emissions, energy represents both a risk and an opportunity for this sector.

Super-charged: how Australia’s biggest renewables project will change the energy game

Australia doesn’t yet export renewable energy. But the writing is on the wall: demand for Australia’s fossil fuel exports is likely to dwindle soon, and we must replace it at massive scale.

Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this: Is ‘lead time’ the key to milder impacts from coal retirements in the NEM?

Cornwall Insight Australia’s Lead Consultant – Market Analysis, Lumi Adisa, compares the lead times of major coal fired power station retirements in the National Energy Market (NEM) and analyses how renewables, particularly solar plus battery storage, are able to replace lost generation in the transition to a two-sided market.

Keeping pace with change

This month’s final thought comes from Violette Mouchaileh, EGM, emerging markets and services with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Covid-19

Featured

VIC solar industry braces for post-lockdown release of pent-up demand

As Victorians fly out of lockdown and into the thick of summer the solar industry is preparing for the release of pent-up demand for solar which was hungered for during lockdown but went unsatisfied. pv magazine Australia sat down with AC Solar Warehouse's Grant Behrendorff to gauge the backlog of installations and talk shop in the approach to a bumper summer.

What can President-Elect Biden get done on energy in his first 100 days?

Biden has made a long list of promises and commitments to the environment and future of clean energy if elected. Which of these promises could we see immediate action on and which are years down the line?

Major economies should divert fossil fuel Covid-recovery cash to clean energy before it’s too late

A report by Finnish company Wärtsilä has estimated the potential impact if every dollar committed to a non-renewables energy sector recovery was instead funnelled to clean power.

Melbourne solar installers back to work as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Rooftop solar installation figures in Victoria have plunged dramatically in recent months but an easing of Covid-19 restrictions has provided a welcome boost for the state’s small-scale solar installers.

CEFC annual report glowing with ‘prudent investment’

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has published its annual report this week, a report glowing with the hue of ‘prudent investment’ according to the CEFC Chair. The report emphasises the prudence and efficacy of the green bank’s mandate despite attempts by the Morrison Government to siphon off funds for fossil-fuel investments.

Iberdrola highlights potential for green recovery in breaking ground on Australia’s largest hybrid wind and solar farm

Spanish giant Iberdrola has broken ground on its 317 MW Port Augusta hybrid wind and solar farm, set to be the largest in Australia. The global energy company stressed its desire to increase its renewable presence in Australia on the day, betting on Australia’s potential for a green recovery from the economic strife of Covid-19.

Markets & Policy

What’s NUW in energy? An alliance of three NSW universities concentrates clean-energy expertise

Recognising that the major problems facing the world can't be solved by any one organisation, three New South Wales universities at the peak of renewable-energy research have rewritten the rules of collaboration to influence policymakers and accelerate solutions to market.

How to throw EV uptake into reverse!

Some Australian states are choosing this moment to ensure that electric vehicle drivers are paying their fair share of funds needed to maintain road infrastructure — given that they don’t contribute via fuel excise. The moves are expected to throw a spanner in the works of drivers deciding in favour of zero-emissions motoring.

Morrison to feel the heat as U.S. turns to clean energy future

The election of Joe Biden as U.S. president is set to heap further pressure on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to lay out a clear and firm strategy charting the nation’s transition to a clean energy future.

UNSW to lead Australian-German green hydrogen trade feasibility consortium

The University of New South Wales will lead a consortium of Australian and German researchers and industrial partners in a feasibility study to tease out and provide solutions for the obstacles for the trade of green hydrogen from Australia to Germany.

Tritium launches scalable EV charging solution

Brisbane-based global EV charging powerhouse Tritium has unveiled a scalable solution which will give peace of mind to network operators and governments the world over. The solution, launched in tandem with the next-gen RTM75 DC Fast Charger, knocks down one of the few remaining obstacles to large scale EV charger uptake.

Social Energy and SolaX team up for a FIT deal

Following on from Social Energy’s launch in Australia late last year, the UK company has teamed up with SolaX to offer a rather appetising feed-in-tariff deal to go with a combined solar and energy storage system.

Installations

Featured

Interest grows in going with the vanadium flow

The choice of battery storage technologies in support of solar energy supply is broadening to suit a variety of emerging applications. VSUN has just made its first power play for vanadium-redox-flow batteries in the off-grid residential market.

Green Zinc! Sun Metals joins RE100

For a company that has its own big sunny solar farm and is developing a companion green-hydrogen production plant, the next step must be to formalise its commitment to go 100% renewable.

Dynamic design delivers new player in solar canopy market

South Australian design and manufacturing company PVDymanics has unveiled a unique ‘slide in’ solar canopy system which it believes can revolutionise the micro-grid market.

Australian rooftop PV safety standards under fire in new report

The Australian rooftop PV market is expected to eclipse all previous records in 2020 but a new report has raised serious questions about the fire safety standards associated with small-scale solar installations.

Future is clear as Perth-based company unveils commercial-scale trial

Australian renewable energy company ClearVue continues to push ahead with the development of its transparent solar glass technology with construction beginning on a commercial-scale trial project.

Generating goodwill: the value driving community solar

Goodwill may be the most under-appreciated resource for renewable project developers and one that is delivered through community ownership. At least, that’s according to Kristy Walters, chairperson of the 1 MW Haystacks Solar Garden project –  which claims to be Australia’s first large scale solar garden cooperative.

Technology

Featured

Solar for trekking

Belgian start-up Sunslice has developed small, portable, high-performance solar panels that can be applied to backpacks and be used as rechargers for smartphones and watches.

Long-term assessment of PV panel degradation under hot, humid tropical climates

A Dutch-Hungarian research team has measured, for 12 years, the degradation rates of PV modules installed in an off-grid system located in Ghana. It found that the panels had an average annual decline in power yield of 3.19%.

AGL grows massive battery storage in the shadow of retiring fossil-fuelled power stations

AGL, one of Australia’s biggest polluters, is working towards net-zero emissions by 2050 and new relevance in a renewable-energy-powered world. Think big batteries to replace the spinning reserve of some coal and gas generators, and digital management of its customers’ distributed rooftop resources.

Carbon nanotube gives batteries a boost

Scientists in the U.S. examined the use of different conductive filler materials in a lithium-ion battery electrode, finding that adding single walled carbon nanotubes to a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode resulted in better electrical conductivity and higher rate capability for the overall battery. The results, according to the group, could provide new insights into design of high power, high energy battery electrodes.

October’s QLD energy price spike ‘harbinger of things to come’

On Tuesday 13th October 2020 Queensland’s electricity spiked from approximately $25/MWh to $15,000/MWh (the current market price cap) in response to a tripping incident involving the constraint of 11 solar farms and one wind farm. The event is being seen as illustrative of just what needs to be addressed in the design of NEM 2.0.

QLD establishes ministry for hydrogen as Australia moves ahead in the global race for H

In an Australian first, newly re-elected Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk has established a ministry for hydrogen in her new government. The move comes amidst a raft of recent hydrogen related policies throughout Australia and reinforces the nation’s determination to lead the global race for a hydrogen economy.

Manufacturing

Featured

Canadian Solar flags up polysilicon, glass and EVA shortages

The solar manufacturer’s impressive third-quarter gross margin is set to fall back in the current three-month window because global shortages have seen some material costs double since the world came out of Covid-19 shock.

How an Australian-made AI model unlocks accurate prediction of organic PV efficiency

For the last few months, while her city lay dormant in lockdown, Nastaran Meftahi has been tucked away developing a machine learning model to predict where the most promise for next-generation organic solar cells is held.

BlueScope invests in NSW’s future with $20 million Renewable Manufacturing Zone

Steel giant BlueScope is backing the NSW Government’s ambitious renewable infrastructure plan through a $20 million investment into the development of a Renewable Manufacturing Zone at its Port Kembla site in the Illawarra. The investment seeks to encourage innovation in the renewable sector and work towards the Government’s goal of constructing the state’s Renewable Energy Zones with local materials.

SMA swings to profit in first three quarters of 2020

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the photovoltaic inverter maker was able to significantly increase its turnover and sales compared to the previous year.

JA Solar chairman detained by anti-corruption authorities in China

It remains unclear why Chairman Jin Baofang was detained, but the company said its operations will not be affected. The Paper, a Chinese state-owned media outlet, reported that Jin’s detention might be connected to the fall of Liu Baohua, the formal deputy director of the National Energy Administration, which has also been under investigation by the anti-corruption authorities since mid-October.

Insight on Quality – the prickly issue of PV module warranties: big promises and little recourse

PV modules are being sold with ever longer warranties, but when modules underperform or fail, making claims on those warranties is rarely straightforward. So are the warranties worth the paper they’re written on? Where does this leave installers? And how can this liability be mitigated?

Energy Storage

Featured

NSW orchestrates 12 GW of renewables and 2 GW of pumped hydro by 2030

A steady progression of targets, plans and policy adjustments come together in the 'NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap' as the Berejiklian Government strives to get ahead of the retirement of coal-fired generators — and fire up the state economy!

A battery of technology providers invited to tender for 30 MW NT BESS

The Northern Territory is advancing projects that will help it achieve 50% penetration of renewables into its energy supply by 2030. First up, the procurement of a 30 MW battery to boost reliability of the Darwin-Katherine grid.

Weekend read: Down in the weeds of Australia’s distribution networks

Australian electricity wires are awash with sunshine, such that network operators have threatened to up the drawbridge on further rooftop connections, while limiting rooftop PV exports to the grid. But data streams hold the key to unlocking surprising existing capacity, stabilising voltage, and living the Aussie dream.

IEA report rubbishes Morrison’s gas-led energy plan

An International Energy Agency report led up by Rolf Frischknecht from Treeze in Switzerland and under the joint project management of the University of New South Wales’ José Bilbao has measured the lifecycle emissions of both residential solar PV with battery storage and gas-generated grid electricity. The results are not particularly surprising, only the Morrison Government’s ongoing obduracy is.

Vic Big Battery to unlock renewables

Victoria will be home to one of the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries with the 300 MW / 450 MWh Victoria Big Battery to be constructed on the outskirts of Geelong.

Sonnen to share revenues for grid services with consumers under new plan

Residential battery manufacturer Sonnen has unveiled a new power tariff program which signals a major shift for the Australian market.