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Weekend read: Solar through the looking glass

The Silicon to Solar report, partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, outlines ways to restore solar manufacturing to the nation with a little help from the country’s major trading partner – China.
Energy Storage

Origin adds more renewables, storage to plug pending coal gap

Australia’s largest energy retailer Origin Energy Limited (Origin) has entered into an agreement with Belgian company Virya Energy to acquire the Yanco Delta renewables project that comprises an 800 MWh battery energy storage system coupled with a 1.5 ...
Installations

Endeavour goes live with community battery on NSW south coast

Endeavour Energy has activated the first community battery on its network in the New South Wales South Coast as part of a broader program the electricity distributor says will support a higher uptake of renewables and allow more households to access the ...
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Markets & Policy

Zen announces 1 GW pumped hydro project for NSW coal country

Zen Energy has received a greenlight from New South Wales state-owned corporation WaterNSW to investigate transforming Sydney’s biggest water storage facility into a 1 GW pumped hydro project capable of supplying on-demand power for up to eight hours.
Energy Storage

Quinbrook closes first stage of 2 GWh Supernode battery project

Australian-owned renewable energy investor and developer Quinbrook Infrastructure has announced financial close and the start of construction on a 250 MW / 500 MWh battery energy storage system that will form the first stage of a $2.5 billion renewables-...
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Manufacturing

Australia joins global clean energy race with new subsidy policy

The federal government has unveiled plans for a Future Made in Australia Act, proposing taxpayer-funded incentives to advance renewable energy industries, manufacturing, and infrastructure to stake Australia’s place in the global clean energy race.
Markets & Policy

Rooftop subsidies and rising costs present roadblocks for large-scale renewables

The head of one of Australia’s largest energy generators, retailers and developers has pointed to rising costs and uncertainty about recovering those costs as the cause of a drop in investment for large-scale renewables that threatens Australia’s cle...
Markets & Policy

‘Big 4’ seen as greenwashing sustainable finance target allocations

New analysis from independent think tank Climate Energy Finance finds renewable energy and decarbonisation of industry is receiving just 7% of the 'Big 4' banks’ collective multi-billion-dollar sustainable finance target allocations.

Press Releases

Funding boost for hydrogen and low emissions iron and steel research

On behalf of the Australian government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency today announced it has awarded $59. 1 million in funding across 21 research projects to support research and development and commercialisation activities covering renewable hydrogen and low emissions iron and steel.

SUSI Partners invests in buildout of utility-scale renewables projects in the Philippines

Alba Renewables and SUSI Partners’ Asia Energy Transition Fund (SAETF) have entered into an investment agreement to support the development, construction, and operation of utility-scale, ground-mounted solar and onshore wind projects in the Philippines.

Learn from industry leading innovators and earn CPD points at Power+Utilities Australia

Network professionals have the opportunity to learn about new technological innovations and systems and earn continuing professional development (CPD) points as part of the enhanced education program provided at the Knowledge Hub at Power + Utilities Australia Expo, from 7-8 May 2024 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Purpose Capital invests almost $16 million in Lodestone Energy

Private impact investment fund Purpose Capital has headed a $7. 4 million syndicated follow-on investment into New Zealand solar farm developer Lodestone Energy.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Future Made in Australia Act – A positive direction that would benefit from cooperative partnerships

The broad contours of the federal government's plan to introduce a Future Made in Australia Act foreshadow several positive directions. But the approach also holds clear risks and unanswered questions which will need to be addressed as the plan is fleshed out,

Australian solar evades clouds to perform in March

Solcast, a DNV company, reports that Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, and New South Wales were over-performing solar regions in March. This overperformance in the southeast and southwest came despite most of the Australian continent seeing below-average irradiance, due to thicker-than-usual clouds over the sparsely-populated interior and tropics.

Billion-dollar investment could revive Australian solar manufacturing

Solar SunShot is well named. The Australian government has announced it will plough $1 billion into bringing back solar manufacturing to Australia, boosting energy security, swapping coal and gas jobs for those in the solar industry, and guarding against supply chain shocks and geopolitical tension.

More coal subsidies to extend Eraring’s life ‘unjustifiable’

Electricity gen-tailer Origin Energy is currently in talks with the New South Wales government to extend the life of Australia’s biggest coal power clunker, the hyper-expensive, high-emissions, end-of-life 2.88 GW Eraring plant, beyond its slated closure date of August 2025. The reason cited for extension is to maintain reliable and secure energy supply in our state.

Battery price war could soon make electric vehicles cheaper

The main cost of an electric vehicle is its battery. The high cost of energy-dense batteries has meant EVs have long been more expensive than their fossil fuel equivalents. But this could change faster than we thought.

Smart meters fail to deliver promised benefits: Fix

Billions of dollars are being spent worldwide to modernise electricity grids with smart meters. These meters promise to save households money by making it easier for us to understand and manage our energy use. However, our new research suggests these promises might not be fully delivered due to a lack of access to high-resolution, real-time energy data.

Markets & Policy

Renewables underpin Fortescue Morocco joint venture

Australian iron ore and renewables giant Fortescue Energy has signed a joint venture with Moroccan phosphate mining company OCP Group to supply green hydrogen, ammonia, and fertilisers to Morocco, Europe and international markets.

GenusPlus tapped for Pilbara transmission project

Fortescue has awarded energy infrastructure provider GenusPlus Group two contracts worth a combined $50 million to deliver transmission infrastructure as the mining giant works to decarbonise its iron ore operations in Western Australia.

Traditional land owners push ahead with 3 GW mega project in WA’s Pilbara

A Western Australian Aboriginal corporation’s plan to create one of the country’s largest renewable energy projects has reached a new milestone with the registration of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement for the planned 3 GW project by the National Native Title Tribunal.

Big batteries overshadow residential rollout as deployment records smashed

Australia’s energy sector is undergoing a notable shift with new data from market analyst Sunwiz showing a record surge in utility-scale battery energy storage projects over 10 MWh in 2023 while residential and commercial installations also reached new highs.

Land agency says renewables target driving ‘huge’ demand

With renewable energy capacity in Australia expected to at least double over the next six years, the search for land to host solar, wind and energy storage developments is offering a new income stream for interested landowners.

Lawler talks of ray of sunshine for idle NT solar farms

Three sleeping solar farm beauties in the Top End may receive the kiss of life with Northern Territory Chief Minister Eva Lawler indicating the government could buy them from their owner, but questions remain about grid stability.

Installations

Featured

S-5! announces new mounting components for rooftop solar

Mounting system provider S-5! is to boost the size of its Australian catalogue with the impending launch of two new mounting components for rooftop PV systems, including a new mount that allows for module level power electronics to be attached directly to solar panel frames.

Solar farms most accepted form of renewables: CSIRO

A CSIRO survey of Australians’ attitudes toward the country’s renewable energy transition has found solar farms have the highest level of acceptance, but in the past three years, that trust has waned.

Europe’s largest PV plant goes online

German investment firm Hansainvest Real Assets has switched on Europe’s largest solar plant – a 605 MW installation in Germany’s Saxony region. The project spans 500 hectares and operates under a power purchase agreement th Shell Energy Europe.

Construction begins on 380 MW central Queensland solar farm

Construction has officially commenced at Spanish renewable energy developer Acciona Energia’s 380 MW Aldoga Solar Farm being developed near the industrial centre of Gladstone on the central Queensland coast.

Genex eyes new PPAs for Bulli Creek solar project

Fortescue has missed a deadline to reach financial close on a green hydrogen project in Queensland that is key to Genex Power’s proposed Bulli Creek solar and big battery development, but there are other names on Genex’s dance card if the deal falls through.

Ballarat community group looks at ‘microgrid model on steroids’ to power city

The Ballarat Energy Network is on track to decentralise the regional city’s electricity network with a long-term view to supply the Victorian community’s 120,000 residents with 100% renewable energy generated by local distributed energy resources.

Technology

Featured

New report tips 60,000 jobs from Australian solar manufacturing industry

Building a domestic solar panel manufacturing industry based on Australian innovation could generate up to 60,000 jobs and help cement the nation’s future as a renewable energy superpower but access to capital and focused policies are essential if manufacturers are to reach scale where they can be cost competitive internationally.

Powerlink delivers infrastructure to unlock 2 GW REZ

Queensland government-owned network operator Powerlink has completed construction work on the transmission infrastructure that will pave the way for more than 2 GW of renewable energy assets in the state’s southeast to connect to the National Electricity Market.

Alpha targets lithium-ion battery safety with high-purity alumina

Queensland aluminium materials manufacturer Alpha HPA says it is on the brink of transforming lithium-ion battery safety, declaring its high-purity aluminium nitrate is capable of providing a solution to lithium-ion battery fires.

Waratah Super Battery gets grid green light from AEMO

The first in a series of gigawatt-class battery energy storage projects set to be rolled out across the National Electricity Market is on track to be fully operational by August 2025 after Australia’s market operator granted the technical green light for the Waratah Super Battery.

Australian researchers achieve record-breaking efficiency with perovskite-CIGS tandem PV cell

A team of scientists in Australia claim to have achieved the highest efficiency reported to date for a perovskite-CIGS tandem solar cell built on a flexible steel substrate. In the proposed cell configuration, steel can act as both a substrate and an electrode.

Fortescue opens doors on 2 GW electrolyser factory

Fortescue has officially opened its 2 GW hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing facility Gladstone and followed that by confirming plans to establish a 50 MW green hydrogen production plant at the central Queensland coast site.

Manufacturing

Solplanet to launch new inverter solution for rooftop insallations

China-headquartered inverter manufacturer Solplanet is continuing to expand its product portfolio in Australia with the impending launch of a new three-phase hybrid inverter series designed for residential and small-scale commercial and industrial applications.

Tindo backs SunShot to kickstart solar supply chain

Adelaide-based PV manufacturer Tindo Solar is expected to be among the first applicants for a grant from the Australian government’s $1 billion Solar Sunshot program as it looks to scale up its production capacity to compete in a growing domestic market dominated by imports.

Trina provides one-stop service for NZ solar farm

Trina Solar continues to cement its transition from PV panel manufacturer to a single supplier for solar projects, having delivered both the modules and the tracking system for what is New Zealand’s largest operational solar farm.

SunDrive does deal with AGL in domestic solar panel push

Solar panel manufacturing in Australia has reached a new zenith with a commitment by two industry leaders to explore the possibilities of establishing a commercial-scale advanced solar panel manufacturing facility in the heart of New South Wales coal country.

Albanese announces $1 billion ‘pit to panel” solar manufacturing program

The Australian government will commit $1 billion to help build a domestic solar panel manufacturing industry that it anticipates will underpin the nation’s future as a renewable energy superpower.

Pilbara Minerals teams with Chinese battery giant on lithium plant project

Australia is among the countries being considered to host a large-scale battery-grade lithium processing plant after Perth-based resources company Pilbara Minerals struck a deal with Chinese battery metals giant Ganfeng Lithium.

Energy Storage

Featured

Weekend read: Cut to the CAES

Compressed air energy storage (CAES) sits at a crossroads. It is considered a mature form of deep storage due to its components being firmly “de-risked” but few projects are operating in the Western world. A project in the remote New South Wales town of Broken Hill promises to lead the way.

CIP acquires majority stake in Elgin Energy

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has acquired a majority stake in Elgin Energy that will help the Ireland-headquartered solar developer to transition into an independent power producer and grow its pipeline of projects in new and existing markets, including Australia.

Hot results for industrial energy storage testing phase

South Australian energy storage specialist 1414 Degrees will move its SiBox thermal energy storage technology to market after 12 months of testing proved the molten silicon tech is reliable, safe, and an adaptable energy storage solution.

Tesla reports record energy storage deployment figures

Tesla’s global electric vehicle sales are plummeting, but its energy storage business is surging, with more than 4 GWh deployed in the first quarter of 2024 alone.

Queensland battery manufacturer lands grant for automated pilot plant

Queensland-based clean tech company Graphene Manufacturing Group has hit a home run toward commercial product roll-out after pocketing a $2 million grant to spearhead the development of an automated assembly plant in the state capital.

Malaysian player targets 2 GW renewables portfolio for Australia

Malaysian engineering and infrastructure company Gamuda has announced it will shift its focus in Australia to the clean energy and renewables infrastructure market, laying out plans to build a 1 to 2 GW portfolio of solar and wind projects in the next five years.

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