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Solar Victoria investigation uncovers no AI interference in Solar Homes

Following up suspicions raised by the state's solar installer community, Solar Victoria launched an investigation into whether artificial intelligence (AI) had been deployed to exploit registrations for the rooftop PV subsidy. The investigation has concluded that there was no AI interference in the Solar Homes portal.
Technology

RedGrid is empowering individuals, local communities in the energy revolution

RedGrid sees a future where energy is locally sourced by communities. Using its Internet of Energy and “holochain” architecture, RedGrid’s prosumers are rewarded through the connection of distributed devices, systems and people into micro-grids, ef...
EV

UNSW forum brings transport sector together on solar-electric revolution

UNSW’s Digital Grid Futures Institute held an Electrifying Transportation forum last week to bring together companies, innovators and academics to discuss the electrification of the transport sector and how persistent problems can be overcome.
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ANZ, CEFC extend collaboration to help businesses invest in solar, storage, EVs

ANZ has extended its collaboration with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, committing to facilitating a further $100 million of finance to help Australian businesses cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. Under the scheme, the bank is offering ...
Markets & Policy

Industrial products manufacturer inks major solar-wind PPA

The Australian arm of global mining manufacturer Molycop will be partly powered by wind and solar with the help of a long-term offtake deal inked with electricity retailer Flow Power. Under the new partnership, the manufacturer will have access to the AR...
Markets & Policy

With AEMO consultations and amendments complete — let ISP 2019-20 begin!

The conclusion of AEMO’s 2019 planning and forecasting consultation brings revised approaches to the 2019-20 Integrated System Plan: three new renewable energy zones reflect resource and generator interest; the forecasting of distributed energy resourc...
Markets & Policy

Australia’s SO2 pollution shows coal is by far the most costly generator of electricity 

NASA satellite data illustrates that Australian governments are sanctioning pollution from coal-fired power stations that stains Australia with some of the world’s biggest hotspots for toxic emissions. The health burden, calculated in the tens of billi...
Energy Storage

Long read: The dawn of megastorage

Plummeting costs, industry maturity, and the ever-increasing penetration of global renewables are expanding the use cases for battery storage technology. Over the past year and a half, storage projects are increasing significantly in both scope and capac...
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Press Releases

Climate Council crowned Australian Charity of Year

The Climate Council has been crowned 2019 Charity of the Year for the Cities Power Partnership program at the Australian Charity Awards.

The Clean Energy Council launches Energy Next 2020

The Australian Clean Energy Summit 2020 will feature an industry exhibition showcasing new industry developments and leading clean energy efficiency technologies.

Suntech supplies PV modules to the largest floating solar power plant in Germany

Suntech announced it has supplied all the PV modules for the largest floating solar power plant in Germany.

Q Cells achieves ‘top tier’ class bankability score in latest BloombergNEF report

BloombergNEF Solar Module & Inverter Bankability 2019 report ranks Q Cells as one of the most bankable solar module manufacturers in the world, with a score of 91%.

Opinion & Analysis

Victorian solar rebate causes mayhem in the solar industry

The Victorian Labor Government announced in August last year a $1.3 billion “Solar Homes” package to assist homeowners in installing solar PV systems. The scheme will be offered to 770,000 Victorian households for the next 10 years and is in addition to the Federal STC ‘rebate’.

Vietnam’s 2019 commissioning rush

Vietnam had already successfully commissioned 1.5 GW of utility-scale PV at the end of May this year, and there is no sign of this slowing down, with another 2 GW teed up for June 2019. The breakneck speed in development is making Vietnam a powerhouse in the region in installed capacity, even nipping at the heels of Australia. Rystad Energy’s Minh Koi Le looks at the state of play in the Vietnamese solar market.

BHP to link executive compensation to reductions in emissions generated from the use of its products

Evaluating and reporting Scope 1-3 emissions is a landmark commitment, showing leadership towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement

Solar prices up 13% in Victoria in July 2019

The Solar Price Index for July 2019 as published monthly by Solar Choice noted a 13% rise in residential solar prices in Victoria following the re-opened rebate scheme being snapped up in the first 3 days.

Large clusters of solar power stations

In the last of a series of blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe looks at areas where solar generating stations are clustered together, without the coordination afforded by organised solar parks.

IEEFA Energy Finance 2019: Coal pipeline shrinking, stranded asset risk ballooning, renewables ever cheaper

Coal fleets represent huge financial risk to shareholders and investors write Tim Buckley IEEFA’S Director of Energy Finance Studies, Kate Finlayson the organisation’s Senior Communications Strategist.

Markets & Policy

Featured

200 MW solar project nipped in the bud as VCAT hands down decision

In a major battle over land use, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has decided to refuse a planning permit for the 200 MW Bookaar Solar Farm, near Camperdown.

Parliamentary inquiry into controversial Solar Homes rebate voted down

Labor MPs together with three crossbench MPs have voted down an inquiry in the Upper House on how the Victorian government’s Solar Homes program was put together and is being implemented. The push for an inquiry was promised to the solar industry by Opposition leader Michael O’Brien at a protest held in late July.

Lithium-ion batteries are (still) headed for tariffs as of September 1

The energy storage market is set to be the latest affected by Trump’s trade war, and lithium-ion batteries were not included in a group of Chinese imports where tariffs will be delayed until December 15.

Corporate clean energy PPAs to smash last year’s record: BloombergNEF

Power purchase agreements for 8.6 GW of clean energy have been signed in 2019 till July—up from 7.2 GW at the same time last year—with USA alone accounting for up to 70% of the deals. India continues to lead the Asia Pacific region despite registering a slowdown in the activity – almost almost twice as much as the volume recorded in Australia.

UPC/AC Renewables invest in 550 MW of pumped hydro and solar in South Australia

AC Renewables, the energy arm of Philippines’ Ayala Corp, and Australia’s UPC Renewables have agreed to buy 51% in a 250 MW pumped hydro project and a neighboring 300 MW solar project, both located in South Australia.

Battery start-up RedEarth raises funding to cater to local demand

The Brisbane-based energy storage manufacturer has raised $4.75 million in Series A funding from the Queensland Government Business Development Fund and Australian institutional and family investors.

Installations

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SunMan lightweight solar panels: a welcome sustainable solution for the Maritime Museum

In partnering with the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, SunMan has found an ideal showcase for the capabilities of its innovative eArche lightweight solar panels. A crush of CBD businesses cranes in to consider PV's latest possibilities. 

175 MW Finley Solar Farm reaches construction milestone

Stage 1 or an equivalent of 85 MW has been installed and tested at the Finley Solar Farm, one of the many large-scale solar developments in the Riverina region.

Ovida expands solar market into coal country with commercial microgrid PPAs

Ovida provides PPAs to businesses and multi-tenanted buildings, but the company is also working hard on a Community Energy Microgrid Hub and Victoria’s largest concentration of on-grid microgrids in the heart of Victorian coal country, the Latrobe Valley

Using machine learning and cheap satellite data to design rooftop solar power

Researchers have built a tool to use cheap satellite imagery – like Google Maps – to automatically create solar designs with a 91% accuracy rate.

Community solar to take Victoria town to 100% renewables

A 1.6 MW community solar farm will support the Victorian town of Natimuk to reach its target of being 100% powered by renewable energy. The project is underpinned by state government funding.

Ib vogt launches EPC works on 109 MW NSW solar project

The German developer and EPC contractor has reached the final development milestone on a solar and battery project in the Riverina region and moved into construction phase.

Technology

Featured

French solar-powered drone startup takes flight in Australia

Toulouse-based startup Sunbirds has set up an office, assembly workshop and maintenance centre in Brisbane. The company is providing solar-powered drones and drone-as-a-service solutions to surveyors, cattle stations and environmental monitoring companies.

‘New and strange properties’ provide a boost to energy storage

MIT scientists have developed a class of liquid electrolyte with properties they say could open up new possibilities for improving the performance and stability of lithium batteries and supercapacitors.

A new spectroscopic method to understand the physical principles of organic PV

A German research team claims to have created a new visualization technique it says can enable detailed mapping of the energetic landscapes of organic PV cells on a nano scale. The technique could lead to organic cells with reduced power losses.

Aquavoltaics in the Philippines

An EU funded solar-plus-storage project has been tendered in the Philippines. The United Nations is seeking bids for the system to support the seaweed industry on the island of Tawi-Tawi. Combining PV with aquaculture brings many advantages for both, including water conservation, a more controlled aquatic environment, and ecosystem restoration.

Stitching together the grid of the future

A vision of a decentralized, renewable-powered electricity grid is being brought a step closer by scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Their project, Autonomous Energy Grids, aims to take an overarching look at the solutions that will power this grid of the future, and to fill any gaps that appear between them.

A close look at nature could lead to cheaper hydrogen

Scientists at the Australia National University have observed a key stage in the process of photosynthesis which could be copied to greatly increase the efficiency of sunlight-powered water splitting processes used to produce hydrogen.

Manufacturing

Big news as Zhonghuan Semiconductor unveils 12-inch super wafer

The manufacturer says its Kwafoo product improves efficiency and, if used in the optimal p-type PERC type of panel, could boast a module output of 610 W.

Thinktank says India must prioritize a vertically integrated solar supply chain

To develop cost-competitive solar modules the nation must adopt a phased program and set up 15 GW of silicon-ingot-to-solar-module manufacturing capacity by 2024, according to The Energy and Resources Institute.

SMA reports losses for first half of 2019

For the second half of the year, the German inverter producer expects a significant increase in revenues and earnings, mainly due to high order intake. It also confirmed its forecast for the full fiscal year, despite declining sales and sales in the first six months of 2019.

Wood Mackenzie expects more consolidation in inverter business

The research firm says the value of the global inverter market will continue to decline until 2024, even though shipments will likely increase. China’s recent policy changes have increased pressure on prices, which will contribute to greater consolidation in the sector.

Risen Australia achieves 120 MW of rooftop panel sales in a year

Chinese PV module maker Risen Energy has announced it has achieved the highest jump in solar module sales in the Australian market in a one-year period.

New alliance to expand floating PV in Southeast Asia

Pestech, a Malaysia-based electrical power technology company, has entered into a partnership with Chinese inverter maker Sungrow to jointly develop new floating solar solutions.

Energy Storage

Featured

Asian battery manufacturers eye European riches on offer

A report produced by an AI and automation market research company says an anticipated boom in the European storage market – driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions – will attract producers as demand outside China tails away.

Car industry copper demand to surge 250% due to EVs

By considering use of the metal in charging infrastructure, analyst Wood Mackenzie has found higher demand from the mobility sector than is the case if only the volume of the material required for vehicle construction is examined.

Advanced hybrid batteries get financial shot into the arm

A technology to manufacture “honeycomb” materials for energy storage applications from priority Australian mineral resources and AI-based hybrid of lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells with DC loss detection system are among the winners of the funding granted in the Cooperative Research Center Program (CRC-P) latest round.

Solar-powered furniture offers off-grid connection

South Australian outdoor furniture brand Sedi has developed bespoke benches and shelter options for smart cities and regional areas.

New US study finds renewable energy storage costs need to drop 90%

Researchers in the US have published a study that brings 20 years of renewable energy (solar PV and/or wind plus storage) generation into line with historical energy-demand profiles, to ascertain at what storage cost point renewables can cost-effectively consistently meet 100% demand.

Australia’s biggest behind-the-meter energy storage officially launched

Victoria’s Monash University has unveiled the nation’s largest hybrid battery storage system as part of a microgrid that will cover 100% of power needs at its biggest campus with renewable energy.

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