Top News

Carnegie gets $5 million lifeline, bids for liquidated microgrid arm EMC revealed

Following Carnegie Clean Energy's voluntary administration, the administrators have revealed the bids its solar microgrid arm managed to attract. Meanwhile, a plan to restructure the company's core wave power business has been approved by creditors, along with a decision to liquidate the EMC business.
Employment

Construction starts on UQ’s Warwick Solar Farm

Works have been launched on the 64 MW solar farm is the Darling Downs region. Once completed, the project could make the University of Queensland the world's first university to offset 100% of its electricity needs from its own renewable energy asset.
Markets & Policy

Australians across all parties support national EV policy, expect to purchase electric cars, polls shows

Coming hot on the heels of major reports and a heated public debate about electric vehicles, a poll commissioned by the Climate Council confirms Australians believe electric cars are the future. Another poll, by The Australia Institute, has 50% of Austra...
Announcements

Key takeaways from Energy Storage Europe

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Manufacturing

Arctech’s Aussie presence deliver top 4 global tracker finish

Chinese tracker supplier Arctech Solar has topped the rankings in the Asia Pacific region and risen to fourth in global PV market share among tracker suppliers in 2018 – on the back of its Australian project wins. Arctech noted the achievement today, p...
Installations

Renewable energy jobs surge thanks to solar PV

Rooftop solar remained the biggest employer in the Australian renewable energy sector last financial year, but it was large-scale solar PV that stole the limelight as it emerged as the second largest contributor of direct full-time jobs.
Installations

Australia and India helped make up for Chinese solar retreat last year

The world had more than half a terawatt of PV generation capacity at the end of last year as emerging solar markets picked up the slack caused by Beijing’s subsidy about-turn to the tune of a 20% rise in installations outside China.
Markets & Policy

Bomen Solar Farm acquired by Spark Infrastructure, inks PPA with Westpac towards its 100% renewables goal

In a major shift towards owning renewable energy generation assets, electricity network infrastructure owner Spark Infrastructure has fully acquired the 120 MW Bomen Solar Farm in NSW. The project has inked a power purchase agreement with Westpac, which ...
Energy Storage

Interactive map highlights Australian lead-acid storage projects

While lithium ion or even flow battery projects continue to dominate headlines, a report published today has highlighted the continuing role being played by lead acid battery storage. The report from the U.S.-based Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI)...

Press Releases

Premier’s Sustainability Awards now open with new category

Victoria’s leading sustainability awards program, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards, are now open for entries, featuring a new category, that celebrates the outstanding contribution made by volunteers.

Small-scale Energy Storage Forum to focus on energy storage in households and commercial business

Registrations are now open for the inaugural Small-scale Energy Storage Forum in Adelaide on 5 September 2019, the Clean Energy Council announced today.

Genex Power Ltd executes Jemalong connection agreement for 50MW solar project

Genex Power Limited (ASX:GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding connection agreement with Essential Energy, responsible for one of Australia's largest electricity distribution networks, for the 50MW Jemalong Solar Project (JSP or Project) in New South Wales.  

Suports will supply 1 MW of its rooftop structures to a project in Merida, Mexico

The Suports division of Gonvarri Steel Services has reached an agreement with SOLAR180 to supply 1 MW of rooftop structures for a project in Merida, in Yucatan, Mexico. The contract reinforces the confidence SOLAR180 has placed in Suports products, with more than 50 contracts signed between the companies.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Developer POV: Bifacial PV modules will open new markets for utility-scale solar

Let me be clear: as a developer of utility-scale projects, we are very bullish on bifacial. We see bifacial as the next major evolution in solar module technology. Even if bifacial modules trade at a slight premium for the time being, many manufacturers tell us they intend to make even their monofacial panels with bifacial cells. Once they move their production lines over to bifacial, there won’t be a huge marginal cost difference and the prices will equilibrate – as a result, the module market norm will increasingly evolve to bifacial cell and module technology.

Inverter suppliers go digital

More than 11 million PV inverters will be shipped in 2019 alone, and most of these will be connected to a software platform and controlled by the inverter companies. This creates an opportunity for suppliers to create new models and revenue sources, writes Cormac Gilligan, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit. And indeed, in recent years inverter suppliers have been rapidly developing ‘Internet of things’ software platforms to take advantage of this.

Cost reduction-per-kWh reduction “completely transforms” PV industry

Maximilian Schurade, Director of Technical Marketing Support at Hanwha Q Cells shares his thoughts on the solar industries current trends and challenges ahead of speaking at this year’s Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition in Sydney.

Strategies vary, but the goal remains the same

It’s no secret that global energy demand continues to rise, with some estimating an increase of a third by 2040. Meanwhile, writes David Green, Research & Analysis Manager for Smart Utilities Infrastructure at IHS Markit, the energy industry is on the cusp of a 100 year change away from oil and coal hydrocarbons towards renewables and natural gas. Every stakeholder in the industry has a role to play in the energy transition, including within the industrial sector which accounts for 50% of global energy consumption.

Why we need the Approved Solar Retailer program – and why Victoria is demanding it

Purchasing solar is complex and confusing for customers. They need help in determining which retailers meet higher standards of service and will provide a comprehensive whole-of-system warranty, whose marketing claims can be trusted and whose directors haven’t run other dodgy solar companies that avoid their obligations and rip people off.

Global battery storage pipeline reaches 15 GW

As data drifts in, 2018 is shaping up to have been a record-breaking year for battery energy storage, writes IHS Markit senior analyst Julian Jansen. Especially for front-of-the-meter projects, which experienced rapid growth. This growth was led by significant activity in South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and China, which together accounted for 78% of battery energy storage projects commissioned in 2018, according to the Q4 2018 edition of the IHS Markit “Energy Storage Company and Project Database.”

Markets & Policy

Featured

California’s solar power record setting season arrives

The state grid operator reported breaking 11 GW of instantaneous power from large scale solar on Saturday at 1.50pm. Just 20 minutes earlier, the CAISO grid was exporting a record 1.5 GW of electricity, and last Wednesday it hit 93% clean electricity for a moment.

Major progress on Townsville battery “gigafactory” study

Significant progress has been reported on the feasibility study which aims to progress the establishment of a 15 GWh lithium-ion battery factory in Townsville. The study is conducted by the Imperium3 Townsville consortium.

Getting (almost) all our energy from the sun by 2050

Solar could meet approximately 68% of global energy demand with other renewables making up the rest, according to a new report. A 100% renewable energy system could also create 22 million solar jobs by 2050, the study claims. Keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C, though, would require FITs for projects up to 40 MW in capacity, auctions for bigger systems, removing fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies and providing more education and R&D and less red tape.

High energy prices set to grow Australia’s rooftop PV installations by 2 GW in 2019

First-quarter data from Green Energy Markets shows double the uptake of small-scale rooftop solar on the same period last year as record numbers of residential and business consumers seek to reduce their electricity bills. The tendency for installations to increase toward year end suggests that more than 2 GW of solar will hit the rooftop tiles this year. How could this become a cautionary tale?

Sonnen reveals plans to expand with Shell’s support, starts cobalt-free battery initiative

German battery maker sonnen is following its takeover by Shell with plans to expand its market reach. It says it will use the opportunity to jointly push the energy transition. With an eye on sustainability, sonnen has launched an industry-wide initiative to push cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries for home storage systems.

Woolworths becomes world’s first retailer to issue green bonds

The Australian supermarket giant is issuing green bonds to fund the development of low-carbon supermarkets and the installation of solar at its stores and distribution centres.

Installations

Featured

UNSW is developing Australia’s first large-scale hybrid storage system

The University of New South Wales (UNSW), the birthplace of pioneering PV technologies, is now developing another innovative solution: a large-scale hybrid energy storage that will combine lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The first system will be installed at Risen Energy's 121 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland.

World-first relocatable solar pods power up commercial rooftops

Solpod today launches a potential game changer in commercial solar PV. Substantially funded by ARENA, supported by energy retailer, ERM Power, and trialling across 25 shopping centres and NSW Government sites, this innovation has the legs to go global.

Five-minute forecast a win for solar energy industry

Australian researchers are developing short-term weather forecasts for solar farms to help them precisely predict output as little as five minutes in advance.

FRV commissions 100 MW in Queensland, vows to build 5.8 GW globally by 2024

Spanish developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) has announced that its latest operational project in Australia, the 100 MW Lilyvale solar plant, is now up and running. FRV’s parent says it is strategically investing US$900 million throughout the world in 2019 to increase its installed capacity to 5.8 GW by 2024.

CEC warns jobs, projects at risk as Queensland introduces new solar rules

The Queensland government has laid down regulations for solar farms that will allow only licensed electricians to install or remove PV panels. But the new rules will put hundreds of local jobs at risk and could bring some projects to a standstill, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has warned.

Tesla, GAF, RGS and now Hanergy: will solar roofs finally heat up this year?

Hanergy displayed the newest rendition of its 18.7% Thin Film Flat SOLARtile in Australia last week as it gears up for the U.S. and global product launch later in 2019.

Technology

Featured

Northern Territory rolls out 10 MW of PV to power remote communities

Construction has been completed on the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP), which has been touted as Australia’s largest rollout of solar power to remote communities to date.

Energy platform connects small solar farms with buyers

An online platform to connect medium to small-scale solar energy producers with independent electricity buyers will launch in the coming months in South Australia.

Australian researchers to develop new tandem PV cell measurement equipment

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Adelaide-based laser supplier Lastek are developing equipment and procedures to accurately measure the performance of multi-junction solar cells with the help of an LED-based solar simulator.

AEMO’s VPP integration trial, decentralized energy exchange secure funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will underpin two innovative distributed energy projects – a trial to integrate a virtual power plant trial into the National Energy Market and a digital marketplace for grid services provided by rooftop solar arrays, batteries and EVs owned by Australian homes and businesses.

New billing method and PV+storage for all-day energy supply on Philippine island

From four to 24 hours: before solar and storage, the 160 households on a Philippine had electricity for only four hours each day. This had negative impacts on the economic development of the islands. With support from the ADB, the island inhabitants now have 24 hour supply of clean energy, and new billing methods that suit the economic realities of poorer households.

Victoria to make smart inverters mandatory for Solar Homes

Following the decision to require retailers taking part in the Solar Homes program to be signatories to the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, the Victorian government has set specific requirements for inverters that will be installed under the program.

Manufacturing

Featured

DuPont unit and Fraunhofer ISE to work on c-Si module testing

The PV solutions division of DuPont Electronics and Imaging has revealed plans to work with the Fraunhofer ISE on optimizing testing protocols for crystalline silicon solar modules.

U.S. trade authorities to investigate Jinko, LONGi, REC cells

The ITC will look at cells made by LONGi, JinkoSolar and REC Group, based on claims by Hanwha Q Cells that the companies have infringed on its PERC technology.

Sharp launches three new mono-PERC modules with 19.1% efficiency

Sharp has released three new high-efficiency mono-PERC solar panels. Ranging from 300 W to 370 W, the five-busbar modules are designed for use in a range of applications, from residential PV projects to large commercial installations.

REC Group rejects Hanwha Q Cells’ allegations in Australia

The Norwegian solar panel manufacturer says Hanwha Q Cells did not provide full particulars of its allegations despite REC Group’s requests and went ahead to commence proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia.

SMA posts €175 million loss for 2018

The German inverter producer’s sales also fell significantly in the past financial year. With its cost reduction program, SMA is now eager to orchestrate a turnaround, but its first-quarter guidance still shows a sustained downward trend.

Shunfeng to sell production assets for $447m

A unit of Shunfeng International Clean Energy (SFCE) has agreed to sell PV manufacturing assets to Asia Pacific Resources Development Investment for RMB 3 billion ($447 million).

Energy Storage

Featured

AGL plans 250 MW pumped hydro project in South Australia

Australia's biggest power producer has secured the right to develop, own and operate a massive pumped hydro energy storage project at Hillgrove Resources' Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills region.

WA battery research facility secures $25m of federal funding

The Perth-based Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) will address industry-identified gaps in the battery industry value chain, support battery deployment and optimise the circular economy for battery recycling.

Victorian government to cap solar rebates in response to overwhelming interest

Due to the immense success of the program — and with rebates now almost fully subscribed — Solar Victoria will accept a final 2,000 applications before the end of June, the state government has announced. New solar rebates will be available in the next financial year.

Flinders University to roll out more solar on rooftops, shelters and walkways

Building on its existing PV fleet, South Australia’s Flinders University has announced a fresh investment of $1.45 million to source one-third of its electricity needs from solar.

SolarReserve fails to secure funding for Aurora solar thermal plant

The Port Augusta concentrated solar power project billed as the world’s biggest has ground to a halt. Although it was granted additional time, U.S. firm SolarReserve failed to achieve financial close and proposed selling the 150 MW project to a third party.

2018 smashed renewables records across the board, CEC finds

A new report from the Clean Energy Council confirms 2018 shattered all records in terms of investment in renewables and capacity additions. The CEC finds that more than 2.3 GW of new renewable energy projects were completed in 2018. Both large-scale and rooftop solar experienced their best ever year.

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