Top News

LCOE for li-ion batteries has fallen to $187/MWh — BNEF

Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly posing a competitive threat to coal- and gas-fired generating plants when paired with solar and wind projects in a number of markets throughout the world, without the need for subsidies, according to new research by BloombergNEF (BNEF).
Energy Storage

Gas, pumped hydro, coal upgrade win in Federal underwriting scheme, new coal not out of the picture

The Coalition government has shortlisted 12 projects that could be eligible for taxpayer underwriting, and allocated $10 million to study the best way to meet the demand of energy-intensive industries in north and central Queensland. While there is no ne...
Technology

“Over 10% less”: six solar farms slammed by proposed MLFs

Proposed marginal loss factors (MLFs) will result in six utility scale solar projects receiving a 10% or more reduction in revenues, at current prices and if imposed as proposed by AEMO. Worsening MLFs add to mounting pressures for large scale PV project...
Announcements

Key takeaways from Energy Storage Europe

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Energy Storage

Pumped hydro to triple Australia’s storage capacity

A new study from the Australian National University shows that a series of pumped storage projects currently in the pipeline across five states could triple Australia's electricity storage capacity, and pave the way for more solar and wind.
Manufacturing

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).
Manufacturing

High-efficiency solar module upgrades from REC and Trina

REC Group has begun production of its residential N-Peak Black series, reaching up to 325 watts. Concurrently, Trina Solar has released four new modules within its Tallmax, Duomax, Duomax Twin and Honey series — some of which reach up to 415 watts.
Installations

Australian first climate bond gives investors new access to solar and storage market

In what is described as Australian first climate bond, which gives investors access to new ways to invest in solar and storage, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has contributed $10 million towards the latest of FlexiGroup’s green bond issuan...
Highlights

Hanwha Q Cells expands Australian patent infringement lawsuit to include REC, BayWa r.e., Sol Distribution

The South Korean solar module maker has filed another claim with the Federal Court of Australia against Norwegian solar manufacturer REC Group, as well as PV distributors BayWa r.e. Solar Systems and Sol Distribution, for distributing products that alleg...

Press Releases

JinkoSolar: A big jump in sales and margin in 2018

Solar module manufacturing giant JinkoSolar reported a sizeable jump in its shipments and margins in 2018. The news was revealed in the company’s 2018 financial results, published March 22.

Element 25 to trial making metal using renewable energy

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $490,000 in funding to mining and metals company Element 25 Limited (E25) to examine the viability of using renewable energy in their metal production process.

Post 2025 market design for the National Electricity Market (NEM)

The COAG Energy Council has tasked the Energy Security Board with developing advice on a long-term, fit-for-purpose market framework to support reliability that could apply from the mid-2020s.

Trimark Launches the Trimark SMA Gateway

An OEM-Approved Replacement for the SMA Sunny WebBox.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.”

IEEFA update: Even as forecasts signal decline in global thermal coal markets, Australia courts new mines

IEEFA supports new bill prohibiting the opening up of thermal coal mining in Queensland’s Galilee Basin

Victoria: Renewable energy policy brief

Climate change means more storms, bushfires and extreme weather events. Our energy system must adapt to this changing climate. Victoria is well on the way to meeting its renewable energy targets thanks to a range of policy measures.

Renewables momentum continues, despite political chaos

As 2018 draws to a close, it is worth reflecting on another extraordinary year for the Australian renewable energy industry.

Two million PV systems – solar a political power

We owe a lot to John Howard. He may not have realised it in May 2007, but when he doubled the Photovoltaic Rebate Program value to $8000, our second longest serving prime minister set in motion a chain of events that would lead to Australia hosting 2 million rooftop solar power systems.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Australia renewables supply reaches 21.2%, rooftops provide record solar contribution

While renewables continue to do their bit on decarbonizing the energy sector, national emissions, especially in the transport sector, continue to rise amid a lack of any federal or state government limits, The Australia Institute warns. Total renewable supply, including rooftop solar, is at 21.2% of generation from all sources across the NEM, eating into the share once firmly held by coal and gas.

JinkoSolar shipped 11.4 GW of modules in 2018

Chinese module manufacturing giant JinkoSolar today published its financial results for the full year 2018. While the company achieved an impressive 16% growth in shipments over the previous year, its total revenue took a 5.4% hit compared to 2017, thanks to falling module prices throughout the year.

Victoria to require installers to sign CEC’s Code of Conduct for Solar Homes

The Victorian government is giving smaller solar installers eight months to sign up to the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct if they want to qualify for the Solar Homes program. For larger retailers, the deadline to become Approved Solar Retailers is July.

Lithium Australia launches German cathode powder study

The study will evaluate the direct production of cathode powders from mica feed material sourced from mining operations, eliminating the need for cobalt and nickel.

Hydrogen home storage, refueling hub get financial shot into the arm

Toyota Australia will transform its former manufacturing site in West Melbourne into a renewable energy hub to produce green hydrogen with the help of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). In other hydrogen-related news, researchers at UNSW Sydney with partners H2Store have received a $3.5 million investment from Providence Asset Group to develop a hydrogen residential storage.

Proof of C&I energy savings is in the PPA

New-generation energy retailer Flow Power will today release figures that show its high-use energy customers have collectively saved $14 million with power purchase agreements since the start of 2018. Such powerful testimony signals a new maturity in Australia’s renewable-energy PPA market.

Installations

Solar to help power Sand Bypass System on Gold Coast

One of the Gold Coast's most iconic pieces of infrastructure, the Sand Bypass System, will soon welcome a 100 kW solar array as part of a pilot project aimed at reducing operational costs.

Insurer issues cyclone warning for Queensland solar farms

Last year, Sun Metals insurer FM Global proposed cyclone testing the company’s 125 MW solar infrastructure near Townsville in Queensland, to better understand the risks involved in covering the asset against damage. The insurer today called for standardised testing of solar-farm designs proposed for the country’s north east, and the application of clear building guidelines that safeguard vital renewable infrastructure.

Australia’s first solar farm in Antarctica opens at Casey research station

A 30 kW vertical array has powered up at Australia’s Casey research station in Antarctica. The project is one the largest solar installations on the southernmost, ice-covered continent.

Risen breaks ground on 132 MW Merredin Solar Farm

A groundbreaking ceremony took place last Friday at the Chinese PV module maker’s utility-scale PV project in Western Australia’s wheatbelt region.

Canadian Solar CEO: Energy storage key to sustaining long-term, stable Australian PV market

Canadian Solar has been acquiring utility scale projects and signing module supply and EPC deals at a rapid pace in recent months. For Shawn Qu, Canadian’s Founder and CEO, he would prefer the market to continue at a stable level, rather than boom and bust. And he argues that the dual role of module maker and developer delivers value insights into pricing and technology trades – giving the company an advantage over rivals. 

NSW Coalition commits to support apartments going solar, module and battery recycling

If re-elected on Saturday, the NSW Coalition will change strata laws to reduce the minimum votes needed to install solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points in strata buildings. The government has also pledged to give $20 million more funding to the Emerging Energy Program and $10 million in funding for a solar panel and battery recycling program.

Technology

Featured

Solar researching: 3 new revelations

In research breakthroughs announced over the past few days, an ultrathin graphene film soaks up the sun, a renewable thermal solution provides a novel source of industrial heating (think hot rocks!) and the Future Grid Homes project reveals Airbnb as a potential model for excess-energy sharing between consumers.

Solar PV and batteries to provide 24-hour power for Santos oil pumps

Santos’s Cooper Basin oil production is set to be transformed by a trial using solar PV and a CSIRO-developed hybrid battery to replace diesel generators powering the pumps that deliver oil from underground 24/7. Early success suggests the trial will serve as a proof point for the reliability of renewables in many more off-grid applications.

Carnegie Clean Energy gets funding lifeline, solar microgrid subsidiary to be sold or wound down

Following months of uncertainty around its financial position, Carnegie Clean Energy and its fully owned subsidiaries went into voluntary administration last week. In its latest statement to ASX, the renewable energy developer says it has struck a deal with one of its directors to provide funding support while administrators attempt to recapitalize its wave power business.

Half of Australia’s solar and wind farms to trial providing their own short-term generation forecasts

Around $9.4 million has been allocated for 11 projects to trial short-term forecasting for large wind and solar farms under a funding initiative by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The trial aims to improve the accuracy of market outcomes.

Horizon Power launches stage two of Onslow microgrid, Senec supplies batteries

Horizon Power, Western Australia’s regional power provider, has commenced the second stage of its Onslow microgrid project, which will provide local residents and businesses with access to low-cost solar and energy storage systems. German storage provider Senec has been chosen to supply batteries to the project.

Ikea tests rooftop PV and blockchain on miniature wooden village

The Solarville project, by Ikea’s Danish research and design laboratory, has seen the participation of blockchain companies such as Bloc, Blocktech, WeMoveIdeas India and Temporal. It was conceived to help create cooperative community micro-grids to enable homeowners to become clean energy traders.

Manufacturing

Featured

Canadian Solar’s PV module shipments surpass 6.6 GW in 2018

Canadian Solar recorded net income of $237.1 million in 2018, from $99.6 million a year earlier, on annual PV module shipments of 6.62 GW.

Meyer Burger contract announcement emphasizes difference from Hanwha passivation tech

With the legal squabble between Hanwha Q Cells and three rival solar manufacturers now encompassing three countries, equipment supplier Meyer Burger saw fit to refer to the dispute in its latest announcement of an Asian contract win.

FTC Solar enters Australian tracker market

The U.S.-based engineering firm has announced its entry into Australia with an office in Brisbane.

Rise of bifacial lifts profits for the world’s tracker companies

Things are hotting up in the tracker world as the desire to squeeze down the price per Watt of solar power intensifies. And the rise of the trackers is attracting some well-known businesses to buy their way into the field.

Hanwha Q-Cells sues Jinko, Longi for patent infringement in Australia

The Korean solar manufacturer has lodged a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Australia against Chinese panel makers Jinko and Longi following similar allegations in the U.S. and Germany.

Longi’s 5 GW high-efficiency mono PERC factory will be at full capacity ‘soon’

The Chinese mono giant is already producing bifacial half cut modules at its new Anhui fab after the completion of an initial 2.5 GW phase of operations. And the company president confirmed Longi is on track for 45 GW of mono wafer and ingot production capacity next year.

Energy Storage

Featured

Tesvolt wins second international award for WA avocado farm project

German battery supplier and integrator Tesvolt has been recognized by the Alliance for Rural Electrification for its battery 48 kWh project at an avocado farm in Pemberton, in WA’s Southwest. The project integrates the lithium ion system with a 160 kWh saltwater battery and 53 kW solar array – allowing the farm to become 100% self sufficient.

Batteries stacking up in anticipation of Australia’s May election

Analysis released today by independent energy and consulting firm, Rystad Energy shows an incredible reserve of energy storage has been added to Australia’s ongoing boom in solar and wind projects during the first two months of 2019 — confidence, perhaps, that an energy-transition policy will finally triumph at the Federal polls!

The blockchain club

Open-source blockchain platform Energy Web Foundation has revealed the number of its affiliates has risen from 37 last month to 100. New members include EnBW, Total and the State Grid Corporation of China. The platform was conceived to create an energy-blockchain ecosystem and to accelerate the energy transition.

Genex Power completes Jemalong solar farm acquisition looking to boost earnings

The Sydney-based publicly listed renewables developer has completed the acquisition of the 50 MW Jemalong solar PV project in New South Wales. It has also commenced refinancing of a 50 MW solar projects that forms part of its landmark Kidston renewable energy hub, Australia’s first large-scale project to use pumped hydro to store solar generated power.

WA government cuts support to Carnegie Clean Energy

After reporting a $45 million loss in its half year results, the troubled renewable energy developer has suffered a new blow. The Western Australia government has terminated the $16 million financial assistance agreement for the Albany wave energy project, noting that unexpected proposal to change Federal Government’s R&D tax incentive scheme contributed to destabilization of the company’s financial position. 

DC coupling for batteries on SMA inverters will let utility-scale solar farms play at night

In 2021, the settlement period for the supply of energy into the NEM will decrease from 30 minutes to five minutes, creating market conditions for batteries to start being deployed in the solar utility market. One of the world’s most respected inverter manufacturers is currently shipping central inverters that enable anytime integration of battery storage. Retrofits for already installed systems are on the next boat.

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