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Major milestone for world’s biggest solar project

The world’s biggest solar and storage project is a step closer to realisation with the Northern Territory Government and Singaporean-based Sun Cable signing a milestone agreement which will advance development of the $22 billion Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL).
Markets & Policy

Business Council backs climate change bill

Australia's most powerful business lobby has thrown its support behind independent MP Zali Steggall’s proposed climate change legislation, saying it provides a high-level policy framework that can serve as a starting point to achieving net-zero emissio...
Hydrogen

Real Energy signs JV to develop large-scale hydrogen hubs

Australian-listed oil and gas exploration and development company Real Energy has continued its push into renewable energy, signing a joint venture agreement with private company Liberty Hydrogen to develop four large-scale hydrogen hubs on Australia’s...
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Energy Storage

Community solar is fighting the good fight against gas fields in NSW’s Northwest

Of the myriad tensions upon the energy transition to renewables it is perhaps the ability of solar and energy storage to be distributed among the people that has threatened the powers that be most overtly. And so, in NSW's northwest where the federal gov...
Manufacturing

Fimer unveils two new three-phase string inverters

The Italian inverter maker said the two devices were designed to deal with increasing PV module currents. The inverters have a power output ranging from 10 to 33 kW and are claimed to reach an input voltage of 1100 V (DC).
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EV

‘Hydrogen a distraction’: WA Professor on why lithium batteries have the upper hand for transport

Examining the situation from an economic and historical perspective, Professor Ray Wills says it’s “unlikely” hydrogen will manage to overtake batteries as the preferred transport fuel.
Highlights

Cumulative corporate commitments drive demand for 2.8 GW of renewable electricity

Corporate commitments in Australia will drive an estimated 2.8 GW of demand for renewable energy projects, according to a new report from Greenpeace.
Installations

La Trobe University now home to solar-powered stadium

La Trobe University is not messing around when it comes to its 2029 'net zero' ambitions. The university, which installed 7,500 solar panels at its Bundoora campus last year, has this month seen the completion of its new sports stadium which will be enti...

Press Releases

CEC welcomes Bowen to energy and climate portfolio

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) welcomes the Hon Chris Bowen MP as the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy and warmly thanks the Hon Mark Butler MP for his service in the portfolio.

Australian parents call for Federal Budget support to Solar Our Schools

Australian Parents for Climate Action has renewed calls for the Federal Government to prioritise funding for solar panels on every school and early childhood education centre in Australia, ahead of the deadline for public submissions for the next Federal Budget.

Turning waste to biofuel could deliver new industry for Collie

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on Thursday announced $3. 9 million in funding to Renergi for the development of the next phase of the company's energy from waste technology in Collie, Western Australia.

Hydrogen experts all under one roof

Fronius has been researching and developing hydrogen solutions for around 20 years and, in this time, has become the innovation leader in the production of green hydrogen. The company has big plans to further build on this enormous wealth of experience.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Biden’s Senate majority doesn’t just super-charge US climate action, it blazes a trail for Australia

An aggressive US climate policy rollout could provide a much needed dose of reality to the climate discourse in Canberra. It may also prompt Australia’s major parties to acknowledge the inevitability of a transition to a zero carbon economy.

How Australia can phase out coal power while maintaining energy security

The end of coal-fired generation in Australia is inevitable. Zero marginal cost, zero emissions energy is now a reality. Wind and solar are cheaper sources of new electricity than coal in most cases, putting significant pressure on the profitability of the inflexible, ageing coal generators. The only questions are when coal-fired power stations will close and how well Australia will manage that phasedown.

Why you should join the charge for solar batteries

The sooner you invest in a solar battery the better off you’ll be, says Lightning Solar & Electrical’s George Panayides. After installing hundreds of solar batteries throughout Australia, Panayides says that demand is picking up and the future is bright, but notes that while high prices may inhibit uptake for some, the savings to be made with batteries and VPPs are a sure thing.

South Australia’s road to 100% renewables is paved with infrastructure challenges

South Australia rounded out 2020 with a record-setting day, in which solar and wind supplied 99.6% of demand on the state’s electricity network on Dec. 27. But as solar veteran and Amrock MD Pierre Verlinden explains, there is some serious infrastructure needed if the state is to realise its 100% renewable ambition.

Battery of the nation + hydrogen export: Can they do both?

In light of the Morrison Government committing another $94 million to Marinus Link, Cornwall Insight Australia Senior Analyst, Jake Dunstan, asks whether Tasmania can do both; support the mainland and develop a renewable hydrogen industry locally.

Solar set to shine in a post-pandemic world

The world is still combating Covid-19, with Europe now impacted by a second wave of the virus. While the market reported delays for a few projects, the impacts on the PV sector remain unclear. But if the world fails to curb the Covid-19’s spread, governments may be forced to reintroduce strict measures, thereby sapping PV demand. PV InfoLink’s Mars Chang expects module demand to hit 126 GW by the end of this year.

Covid-19

Featured

2020 Year in Review

Soon 2020 will only be a worry to future high-school history students. But when they ask us if anything good at all happened in 2020, remember this review and tell them that solar PV shone in the darkness. Despite the mess of it all, 2020 has been another good year for Australian solar. The industry has demonstrated resilience, and significant progress has been made in the fields of energy storage, green hydrogen and others.

LG Chem breakaway launches 16 kWh modular resi battery, plus plus

The performance and warrantable 10-year capacity of LG Energy Solution’s third-generation Prime series are among features designed to turn homeowners’ heads.

Asian Development Bank provides more than $1bn finance for renewables power lines

The development lender has followed up a $600 million loan for distribution infrastructure in eastern Indonesia with a $430 million credit line for installations in India.

Molong Solar Farm nolonger in development, successfully energised 

GRS has passed the 550 MW mark in its Australian portfolio with the energisation of its 39 MW Molong Solar Farm in Central West New South Wales. The project is now on the verge of grid connection tests and thereby closing in on full-fledged generation.

Spanish tracker giant STI Norland expands to Australia with a keenness to compete

Spanish tracker giant STI Norland has expanded to Australia with a new subsidiary office in Melbourne. The company is arriving on our shores with a keenness to compete with tracker suppliers who already have their foot in the door. With no solar farm too big or too small, STI Norland Australia CEO Alan Atchison sat down with pv magazine Australia to talk about how the company plans to make tracks Down Under.

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.

Markets & Policy

Featured

US alternative investment fund backs Social Energy for rapid Australian expansion

UK-based Social Energy launched in Australia with the help of shareholder Shane Warne back in 2019. Now the smart energy firm is being backed with a significant investment from US-based alternative investment fund manager CarVal Investors in order for the company to rapidly grow Down Under.

Victoria’s first ‘solar sponge’ community battery network to be developed

In what is believed to be a Victorian first, CitiPower and Yarra Energy Foundation will parter to create a community battery network in the Melbourne CBD and inner-city suburbs.

Big battery announcements could see storage pricing ‘cannibalise’ itself

In November last year, Cornwall Insight Australia estimated Australia had 7 GW of battery storage projects in the pipeline. Since then, massive amounts of storage capacity have been added.

Japanese giant backs QLD green hydrogen plant and Omani grey hydrogen competitor

The Sumitomo Corporation has simultaneously signed a contract with an EPC for a solar-powered green hydrogen production plant in Gladstone, Queensland, while also commencing a feasibility study for a grey-green hybrid hydrogen project in Oman. Considering the relative similarities in distance between the two countries and export markets in East Asia, the Japanese conglomerate looks to be setting the stage for competition in the hydrogen economy.

Standalone power systems could confer up to $1.5 billion in saved network costs and community resilience to disaster

Edge-of-grid communities are under increasing threat of debilitating power outages due to disasters driven by climate change. A new report quantifies the benefits of transitioning some 244 communities to microgrids or individual power systems.

SA Water is pumping with the power of the sun

Nicola Murphy, SA Water’s Senior Manager, Zero Cost Energy Futures has the sunniest disposition as she works steadily to ensure the substantial energy needs of the state’s vital water utility are solar powered from source to faucet.

Installations

Featured

Australian world-first domestic hydrogen battery signs an iconic investor

The LAVO 40 kWh battery incorporates an electrolyser, groundbreaking UNSW materials science, and Australian fuel-cell technology, in a slick unit that will be market ready in June this year. Gowing Bros last week became an equity investor and LAVO's first major customer.

Queensland develops 100% solar + battery neighbourhoods

Housing developers around Australia are catching on to the allure of incorporating solar in buildings from the get go. This weekend the Queensland Government announced plans for two new state-sponsored solar-powered residential developments to light the way for more private companies to install rooftop PV and batteries as a matter of course.

Improving PV-powered water electrolysis with external fields

Australian researchers have analysed different ways to improve the efficiency of PV-powered water electrolysis for hydrogen generation. They include the use of magnetic fields, light energy, ultrasonic fields, and pulsating electric fields. Energy costs remain prohibitive, but molecular movement and the redistribution of molecules in water during electrolysis could open a path to viability.

WA’s Mid-West green hydrogen potential flooded with global interest

Last year the Western Australian Government called for Expression of Interest into its potentially 1.5 GW solar and wind hydrogen hub at Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area on the state’s Mid-West. This week it has been revealed that 65 companies from around the world have submitted serious interest in making it happen.

The future is bright with solar-powered beer

Forget the beer goggles, settle into the spectacles of a sunny disposition and thank whatever gods may be for beer, solar panels and sunshine. That’s what Melbourne’s Moon Dog Brewing has done with the installation of a near 100 kW solar system atop their brewpub. Inspired by the savings made on emissions and electricity bills, the brewers have released a limited edition solar-powered IPA.

VIC Govt funds experiment to test benefits of solar in orchard farming

Unlike other nations with more limited land and faster growing populations, Australia has not yet understood the symbiotic benefits which accrue when solar PV and agriculture are combined. This week, the Victorian Government announced its Horticulture Solar Energy program and $5 million in funding for the Tatura SmartFarm to experiment with solar atop a pear orchard.

Technology

French startups develop PV-powered desalination solution

Two French companies have collaborated on the development of the Osmo-Watt system, which is powered by solar panels. They claim that the technology can produce up to 100 cubic meters of drinking water per day.

Global companies win award for Australian VPP grid support program

Enel X, a subsidiary of Italian utility company Enel, has won the Mission Critical Tech Innovation Award at the global Datacenter Dynamic Awards 2020 for its virtual power plant (VPP) grid support program in Australia.

Government pumps $11 million into new transmission line

The Federal Government has added a new element to the National Electricity Market (NEM) equation by announcing it will provide up to $11 million to help progress the CopperString 2.0 transmission project in Queensland.

Green ammonia breakthrough a potential boon for solar-powered exports

Chemical engineers at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney have made a significant technological breakthrough in the development of green ammonia. The breakthrough could not only alter the global ammonia industry, but more easily use solar to produce green ammonia for export to countries like Japan and Germany instead of straight hydrogen.

Green finance innovation caters for ‘Virtual Storage’ market

Hydro Tasmania and buyers Macquarie Group and ERM Power have signed a ‘Virtual Storage’ deal which will see the pumped-hydro company sell the rights to its highest priced periods of ‘discharge’ and buying a fixed MW block of low-priced ‘charge’. The innovative contract is the product of the ARENA-funded Renewable Energy Hub.

A duck for coal generators in VIC as twin outages failed to register through strong solar

Two outages at coal fired power generators in Victoria last weekend failed to faze the energy market as strong solar uptake ensured wholesale prices actually fell into the negative despite major units going offline at the height of summer.

Manufacturing

Featured

Inverter manufacturer doubles warranty for Australian market

Leading solar inverter manufacturer Goodwe has doubled the warranty provided with its on-grid inverters to 10 years as the company looks to build on its success in the Australian residential rooftop PV market with an increased presence in the commercial sector.

Tesla launches solar inverter

The EV manufacturer with big solar ambitions has finally leveraged its expertise in power electronics technology and launched a solar inverter.

Trina Solar scoops recognition for environmental standards

Technical innovation and solar module production at scale bring with them the opportunity to integrate environmental responsibility. One major manufacturer is reaping returns on its investment.

Module manufacturer responds to market shift

Solar PV module manufacturer Winaico has added two new products to its range with the first of the company’s innovative Gemini series to be released in Australia later this month.

Anti-soiling nanocoating for large-scale PV

Dutch company Rads Global Business has developed an anti-soiling coating for solar PV modules that is claimed to reduce cleaning cost by around 60%. The anti-reflective and anti-corrosive coating is also said to mitigate potential-induced degradation (PID).

Interview: Utility scale, battery storage in Sungrow’s sights for 2021

Having supplied more than 450 MW of residential solar systems in 2020, Chinese inverter giant Sungrow is confident that 2021 will be the year it cracks the utility scale segment. It is also set to introduce a new battery for the distributed market segment, says Sungrow Australia country manager Joe Zhou.

Energy Storage

Featured

ACT includes 250 MW big battery in $307m budget announcement

The Australian Capital Territory Government continues its charge towards delivering big battery storage for Canberra's energy grid with $100 million dedicated to provide at least 250 MW of large-scale battery storage.

WoodMac predicts 30% drop in Asia Pacific front-of-the-meter battery costs by 2025

A new report from Wood Mackenzie suggests costs of front-of-the-meter battery storage systems in the Asia Pacific region could decline by 30% by 2025. The declining costs are already having a palpable impact as 2021 has opened with a slew of large-scale battery project announcements.

100 MW battery storage facility proposed for rural Queensland town

A large-scale battery energy storage system is being proposed by Sydney-based developer Genex Power near Rockhampton, Queensland.

International partnership to develop solar hydrogen plant at QLD college and golf academy

The Hills International College and Golf Academy in Jimboomba, Queensland (QLD), which boasts former World Number 1 Jason Day as an alumnus, is partnering with Sydney-based renewable energy outfit Energy Estate to develop the Jimboomba Renewable Hydrogen Plant. 

The solar allure of WA’s new-model business park

Peel Renewable Energy is about to energise its 1.2 MW solar farm, which forms the heart of a fresh, phased microgrid approach to industrial-estate development. That is, grid infrastructure remains small, while the renewably powered microgrid grows to meet the needs of incoming businesses.

510,000+ Victorian homes now saving with solar

After a rocky start the Victorian Labor Government’s ambitious Solar Homes program gets the rebate recipe right and celebrates a major milestone in the push to have 50% renewable energy in its grid by 2030.

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