Covid-19

Read pv magazine’s coverage of  Covid-19; and tell us how it is affecting your solar and energy storage operations. Email editors@pv-magazine.com to share your experiences.

Top News

Windlab lands loan to manage through project delays

The developer has secured a $20 million loan from Squadron Energy and Federation Asset Management, as it continues to struggle with connection delays on its Kennedy solar-wind-battery park.
Covid-19

AER calls on energy industry to consider its customers

The Australian Energy Regulator has called on Australian energy businesses to take its customers doing it tough at this time into consideration. The AER has set out 10 expectations for energy businesses.
Energy Storage

Experts call for independent scrutiny of Snowy 2.0

30 experts from the energy, engineering, economic and environmental industries around Australia are calling on the Prime Minister and NSW Premier to withstand an independent inquiry into Snowy 2.0.
Announcements

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Covid-19

Covid-19 and dependence on China’s PV supply chain

The Asian Development Bank says developing countries in Asia and the Pacific should consider developing their own solar industry supply chains as the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed their over-reliance on China to carry through the energy transition.
Installations

CEC: ‘Unlikely and difficult’ new solar installs classified as ‘essential’

With the Australian solar industry fast heading towards a significant downturn, the Clean Energy Council has reported that it will be “unlikely and difficult” for new rooftop solar installations to be classified as an essential service if restriction...
Hydrogen

Policy, policy, policy: BNEF beats a path to hydrogen uptake

A hot energy topic with little coordinated analysis, green hydrogen has attracted the nous and number crunching of BloombergNEF. And what numbers! The investment! The required renewable capacity! The potential for emissions reduction! 
Energy Storage

Eureka moment for Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project

Since 2015, Kidston Clean Energy Hub has inspired renewable developers with the potential for hybrid projects. Its envisaged re-use of old gold mining pits for pumped-hydro storage that would concentrate the benefits of colocated solar and wind resources...
Covid-19

Young, invested and digitally savvy — AYCC trains a youth army for climate justice

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition intends to utilise the fact that many of its constituents are at home and online due to COVID-19, and train young climate-concerned Australians to effectively organise against the influence of the fossil-fuel lobby.
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Press Releases

Trina Solar leads the era of 500W+ output with its shipment of world’s first Vertex modules

Trina Solar has just shipped the first lot of its Vertex series modules. With this shipment, Trina Solar sets a new benchmark for the global photovoltaic industry following the company's announcement 11 days ago of the pilot line for the mass production of the Vertex series modules.

Assistance Available for Energy Customers

Following the release of the Statement of Expectations from the market regulator the Australian Energy Council (AEC) reconfirmed its members’ commitment to assist customers experiencing financial distress.

Acciona to build a 1,026MW wind farm in Queensland

ACCIONA will build its largest ever wind farm in Australia, the MacIntyre complex in Queensland, with a total capacity of 1,026MW, the company announced today. The project will boost the Queensland government's decarbonisation strategy, mobilising total investments of AU$1.

Growatt received Top Brand PV Seal awards in Australia and Netherlands

Growat has been awarded Top Brand PV Seal 2020 by EuPD Research for its leading position in Australia and Netherlands!

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Short-term symptoms

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted the global PV supply chain. China, the largest manufacturing hub for solar products, has postponed factory openings in many regions, as it has been hit by logistical hiccups, staff shortages, and delivery delays. Manufacturers in some Chinese provinces are running under capacity, while those overseas are facing the same situation.

Combating the cyber threat to Australia’s distributed solar grid ambitions

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, cyber threats to critical infrastructure were listed as a top ten global threat and many experts believe that an attack on Australian energy infrastructure is a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Here are my thoughts on how to get ahead of this challenge as the growth in distributed rooftop solar PV systems also expands the ‘surface area’ vulnerable to attack.

Australian energy resilience: improving the plan for future climate events

Resilience is measured by the ability to adapt to a changing environment. This includes the capacity to prepare for and reduce the impact caused by disruptive events and the ability to recover rapidly. How can we better plan to maintain continuous supply of energy during and after an incident?

Out with old inverters, in with the new

Global demand for replacement inverters will likely grow by almost 40% to reach 8.7 GW in 2020, as a large and expanding installed base of aging solar PV installations drives deployment, writes Miguel De Jesus of IHS Markit.

Community energy movement: Reductions enable Resilience

Even a casual observer of the political debate over climate change in Australia would almost have whiplash from the abrupt turn from low-key climate denialism to focus on resilience and adaptation in the face of climate catastrophes.

How good is solar farming?

The breadth and depth of detail in the GSD2019 (to be released today) reveals any number of important insights into the supply side of the NEM. One theme that stood out for me as I reviewed the data was the set of challenges facing the NEM’s most recent crop of new entrant generators – utility-scale solar farms – as they come to grips with the messy reality of the electricity market.

Markets & Policy

Covid-19 to wreck economics of new solar and wind projects

While the full extent of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemics on the renewable energy market is yet to reveal itself, Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy predicts new solar and wind projects will grind to a halt this year and experience a ripple effect in the years beyond as currencies across the globe continue to fall against the US dollar.

AEMO: Lessons learned about VPP market participation

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has published its first knowledge sharing report under its landmark virtual power plant (VPP) demonstrations program, which is intended to provide insights into the scalability and network services potential of VPPs. The report details how the South Australia-based Tesla-Energy Locals VPP responded to price signals and frequency level and helps further understand the benefits consumers can have from participating in VPPs.

How much PV is needed in an hybrid solar-diesel mini-grid?

Researchers in Brazil have suggested using solar radiation databases and simulator software to scale PV-diesel mini-grid generators. The profiles of PV generation and mini-grid load demand are critical to finding the right balance, according to the academics.

Monash researchers make lithium extraction breakthrough

Monash University-led researchers have made a discovery that will dramatically reduce lithium-from-brine extraction times and accelerate our energy future. The breakthrough, innovative and ingenious, is as simple and as complex as a sieve.

Swansea University to install Redflow battery at its solar classroom

The British university will use Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries at its Active Building demonstrator – an award-winning classroom that generates, stores and releases solar energy at the point of use.

Enphase Energy expands Australian distribution network

The California-based energy technology company has expanded its partnership with Rexel Group to include Australia-wide distribution.

Installations

WA orchard goes off-grid with Redflow batteries in the face of bushfire blackout threat

After decades of continual blackouts and bushfires the Murrays decided enough was enough. They installed Redflow batteries to team up with their solar installation to take their farm off-grid and independent.

CEC CEO Kane Thornton on why ARENA needs refunding

With ARENA’s funding set to dry up in mid-2020, many around Australia are concerned the Government is preparing to toss the golden goose. Clean Energy Council head Kane Thornton is here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Australia, Singapore to drive cooperation on low-emissions technologies

The prime ministers of Australia and Singapore have agreed to work together on practical projects and initiatives in developing hydrogen markets and renewable electricity trade.

REC Group’s innovative Alpha 72 set for production

The REC Group’s novel Alpha 72 module has tested through the roof and is looking to come in on the roof of the market, literally. pv magazine Australia sat down with REC’s Paul Scerri to lay the module out.

Brigalow turn-on: 35 MW solar farm beats the odds

A legend of rock music and persistence, Brigalow Solar Farm has begun exporting energy to the grid in Queensland’s Darling Downs.

Tanking Australian dollar and COVID-19: Threats and opportunities for solar and storage

The impact of COVID-19 will leave its mark on our society and economy while a sliding Australian dollar is likely to make imported goods more expensive. In its webinar held on Thursday, the Smart Energy Council is discussing business tips on how to weather the storm over the next six months. And a question arises: Can residential and commercial solar and storage buck the trend against the economic recession which is on the way?

Technology

Featured

An organic solar cell with 25% efficiency

The ‘best conversion performance in the world in a dark room’ is how the developers of a new organic PV device have described it. Such cells could be used as a wireless source of energy for internet of things applications or in gadgets such as temperature-humidity and motion sensors.

CSIRO’s energy unit to sack staff prior to Government’s Carbon Reduction Roadmap

The CSIRO recently told its Energy Business Unit that shortfalls would see approximately 20% of jobs cut despite the Government’s much-awaited Carbon Reduction Roadmap pinning our hopes on technological innovation.

ARENA boosts funding for RayGen’s “solar hydro” power plant

The Australian Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are set to fund RayGen Resources Pty Ltd (RayGen) to the tune of $3 million toward a feasibility study for a 4 MW “solar hydro” power plant in north-western Victoria.

Two solar and one wind farm in north Queensland could be curtailed to zero

Three renewable energy generators in northern Queensland are facing major constraints due to system strength issues.

Canadian Solar to release HiKu Mono in Australia

Chinese-Canadian PV heavyweight, Canadian Solar, is looking to harness the power of poetry with the release of its HiKu Mono in Australia. The innovative monocrystalline module enters the market near the top of the range.

AEMC heeds renewable energy industry criticism on new transmission access rules

In welcome news for solar and wind developers in Australia, the network rule maker has decided to not to rush through changes to transmission access rules under the much-criticized Coordination of Generation and Transmission Investment (CoGATI) plan.

Manufacturing

Covid-19: IHS Markit expects demand for private and commercial storage to fall significantly

A slump in demand would weigh more heavily on the storage industry than a temporary production shutdown and IHS Markit analysts say that is where the risk lies, rather than with a temporary shortage of battery cells. A similar prediction has been made for the PV market.

Panasonic suspends work at Tesla’s Nevada fab as carmaker’s California and New York gigafactories pause

Tesla’s Nevada operation is still open for business, though. The EV and battery maker has assured the market its cash position is strong enough to weather an “extended period of uncertainty”.

‘First shipment of 500 W modules’ announced

Chinese manufacturer Risen Energy will supply Malaysia’s Tokai Engineering with 20 MW of its new panels, unveiled in December. Risen claims its products can help reduce balance-of-system project costs by 9.6% and the levelized cost of energy by 6%.

Eguana Technologies moves closer to Moixa GridShare AI integration

The Canadian battery manufacturer has announced an investment from Japanese Itochu Corporation and got closer to integrating Moixa GridShare AI with its Evolve batteries.

Analyst expects recovery for PV and storage supply chains

U.S.-owned analyst Wood Mackenzie expects solar demand to decline but predicts the market will recover, with the prospects for the energy transition remaining intact.

Australian Government stimulates solar PV in the face of Coronavirus threat

The Australian Government’s “Economic Response to the Coronavirus” incentivises commercial and industrial solar PV uptake.

Energy Storage

Featured

The weekend read: Hydrogen is getting cheaper

Electrolyzer manufacturers are in agreement on the goal of rapidly reducing investment costs, mainly through economies of scale. Some are embracing large units, while others are betting on quantity over size. The first approach is attractive for operators of large PV plants, while the latter is better suited to operators of small systems.

CEC calls for clean energy stimulus package in the face of COVID-19

As Australian governments ready and implement economic stimulus and recovery packages in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Clean Energy Council is calling on them to back renewable energies. Clean energy can stave off economic impacts and pave the road to recovery.

Forget toilet paper, consumers are panic buying solar

Byron Bay’s Smart Energy is seeing an unprecedented surge in sales and enquiries of solar and home storage as consumers look to shore themselves up in uncertain times.

Pilbara miner Element 25 secures capital for its “green metals” export plan

Australian miner Element 25 has secured $2 million in capital to further advance its plans to mine manganese in the Pilbara for export. The key to the project is the utilisation of renewable energies to bring down the price and compete with Chinese suppliers.

ACT virtual power plant trial to help optimize DER network integration

An ARENA-backed trial run by ACT network operator Evoenergy in partnership with French power electronics specialist Schneider Electric and Melbourne-based energy tech company GreenSync will research and test the effect that the integration of distributed energy resources is having on Canberra’s increasingly decentralized energy grid.

Is green hydrogen necessary to balance a renewables grid?

A report by Norwegian energy consultant DNV GL has considered the opportunity for long-term energy storage to play a role in balancing annual supply and demand fluctuations in a renewables-led grid. Using 58 years of Dutch weather and energy consumption data, the study found long-term solutions such as green hydrogen could make a valuable contribution – but perhaps not as much as some analysts believe.

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