Top News

Australia shines for Neoen in 2018 results, Hornsdale big battery generates close to $29 million

Australian renewable energy projects have accounted for 53% of French developer and IPP in 2018. Globally, Neoen generated €227.6 million in revenues ($363 million), of which wind was responsible for 48% and solar 44%. Hornsdale’s “excellent performance” is spurring the company to expand its large scale storage portfolio in 2019.
Markets & Policy

Glencore ramps battery-building resources as it caps coal

2019 is showing signs of a seismic tremor in corporate attitudes to climate change and renewable-energy opportunities, with Glencore one of Australia’s biggest coal miners yesterday announcing it will prioritise production of commodities essential to e...
Installations

Study reveals unexpected variables affecting returns on rooftop solar

With 21.6% of Australian households living under rooftop solar, analysis of savings gained and costs mitigated under various circumstances is just catching up with the stampede to install PV. One new study by UNSW researchers is instructive, another look...
Markets & Policy

Solar Bill of Rights introduced in California

The legislation would enshrine a customer’s right to generate and store electricity on their own property as well as connecting to the grid without undue burden and freedom from discriminatory fees, as well as setting compensation for battery exports.
Installations

NSW Labor commits to train 4,500 skilled solar electricians

After announcing a policy to drive 9 GW of renewable energy within a decade if elected, NSW Labor has pledged to invest $11 million to train and accredit electricians to install and maintain the new solar energy infrastructure in the state.
Markets & Policy

China stirs the PV world – by preparing to shift to auction mechanism

Projects not encompassed by the new, central-subsidy-free, ‘grid-parity’ regime will be eligible to bid for a government subsidy. But, at a reported $446 million, the pot is not big.
Installations

SA Water picks Enerven for solar+storage rollout

South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier has chosen its partner to deploy approximately 154 MW of new solar PV generation and 34 MWh of energy storage, across around 70 of its sites over the next 18 months.
Installations

Victoria’s Powercor develops plan to avoid solar curtailment

The Victorian electricity distribution business has proposed network enhancements that aim to drive down power prices starting from 2021. It hopes to boost the safety and flexibility of the grid through the measures, which include network improvements to...

Press Releases

How cheap money can help save the planet

New report pinpoints how concessional finance can make wind, solar, and batteries cost-competitive faster in developing countries, accelerating the shift from fossil-fuelled power.

Victorian Solar Hot Water Systems Rebate Now Available

Victorians are getting the extra support they need to drive down their energy costs, with rebates now available for solar hot water systems as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Solar Homes package.

Engie and Yara take green hydrogen into the factory

Engie is a leader in the energy transition and aims to become a major player in renewable hydrogen. Yara’s purpose is feeding the planet responsibly.

Acciona signs a corporate PPA with Viva Energy in Australia

Acciona Energy has expanded its strategic partnership with commercial and industrial clients by signing a corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Australian leading energy company Viva Energy, to support its strategically important Geelong Refinery in Victoria.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

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.

IEEFA Australia: Thermal coal export sunset looming closer

Coal miner Glencore is failing investors in its latest forecasts.

The least wrong – rapid change in the energy station difficult to predict

While much has been made of the ‘trilemma’ facing the Australia electricity network, Ray Wills from Future Smart Strategies argues that rapid change of energy technology, business models and social changes is resulting in rapid and difficult-to-predict changes.

Markets & Policy

Featured

New coal excluded from Federal underwriting without parliamentary nod, funding accessible only to renewables

New legal advice, sought by The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program, suggests the Underwriting New Generation Investment Program is unconstitutional and lacks the legislative basis to proceed.

SA Water looking to add solar+storage at three pumping stations

South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier has a few utility-scale solar projects coupled with energy storage in its pipeline. Three of them are currently under consideration and scheduled to commence construction this year.

Sumitomo’s Infinite acquisition: “first step into distributed energy around the world”

In late January Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation Group took its first step into the distributed generation market, with its acquisition of Perth-based Infinite Energy. Infinite’s founder and CEO Aidan Jenkins says “after being the little guy” the Sumitomo balance sheet will allow the company to compete with the major electricity retailers – if state government in WA gives them the chance.

From laggard to leader: NSW Labor announces policy for an extra 7 GW of renewable generation

The Smart Energy Council has hailed today’s announcement of NSW Labor’s policy to drive 7 GW of renewable energy into the National Energy Market by 2030 as “the biggest rollout of renewable energy in Australia’s history”.

Clean Energy Council urges Government to put some energy into its policy — and vice versa

In the likely last full fortnight of Parliament before the Australian Federal election, the Clean Energy Council has thrown all political parties a lifeline in the form of 10 policy recommendations to grow renewable energy, as a low-cost source of electricity, a planet-saving emissions-reduction strategy and as a sustainable industry.

Shell moves to acquire German storage business Sonnen

In May 2018, oil giant Shell invested in German manufacturer Sonnen. Now the 112-year-old company wants to fully acquire the business, subject to Germany’s monopoly authorities. Sonnen said it hopes the deal will accelerate its growth by expanding its market reach and capacity.

Installations

Demand Manager forecasts SRES to add $360 million to bills in 2019, tips “imminent” changes

The economy-wide costs of rooftop PV subsidies came in at $1.2 billion in 2018, according to analysis by energy efficiency and solar financer and STC trader Demand Manger. While forecasting an increase to $1.56 billion in 2019, Demand Manager has foreshadowed “imminent” changes to Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Long read: Sweet sweep, module cleaning tech matures

The amount and nature of desert dust determines whether daily cleaning of solar modules is a favorable option. However, frequent and water-intensive cleaning, as well as the amount of labor required, can be costly in desert installations. But the ingenuity of automation is on its way to help.

Interview: How solar, storage and wholesale pricing can deliver a win for households

Wholesale electricity prices on the NEM can peak during heatwaves and when aging coal generators conk out. Amber Electric customers can both profit from but also bear the brunt of price spikes, but when they have solar+storage the upside is significant. Importantly solar homes can provide a valuable service to the grid, says Amber Electric Founder and CEO Chris Thompson.

ShineHub selects Hanwha Q Cells for its lease-to-own model in SA

Solar ‘lease-to-own’ installer ShineHub has chosen Hanwha Q Cells as preferred solar panel provider for its Community Solar Program under the South Australian battery scheme.

Shell unveils 120 MW Queensland PV project, to supply QGC onshore gas operations

Shell Australia has “well advanced” plans for a 120 MW utility scale PV array to supply its QGC onshore gas operations in northern Queensland. The announcement was made Shell Australia Chairman Zoe Yujnovich during a speech today, in which she pointed to an Australian “energy transition” in which “electrons will play a bigger role”.

EnergyAustralia to help charities slash power bills with solar+storage

Backed by an estimated $15 million raised from the sale of renewable energy certificates, EnergyAustralia will install free solar PV and battery systems for participating charitable organizations, with the goal to connect them into a virtual power plant and slash their electricity bills by as much as 50%.

Technology

AEMC to fast track approval of SA-NSW interconnector

After it garnered broad support in political and industry circles, the proposed SA-NSW interconnector is in line for a speedier approval than expected, with the AEMC looking to fast-track the regulatory approval process.

Neometals commissions li-ion battery recycling pilot plant

Australian lithium developer Neometals has taken its lithium‐ion battery recycling technology to the floor at a pilot plant in Canada. SGS Canada has been contracted to construct and operate the pilot at its Lakefield facility, and handle both the front-end feed preparation and hydrometallurgical processing/refining stages.

New model for calculating bifacial boost

Belgian research institute imec has developed a new simulation framework it says can calculate the expected output of a bifacial PV system. The model could help improve developer understanding of the best system configurations for bifacial, and foster confidence among investors by providing a precise prediction of energy yields.

Blaming renewables for power failures is wrong

In the aftermath of January’s blackouts in Victoria and South Australia, public policy think thank Grattan Institute underlines that blaming renewable energy for supply failures is wrong and dangerous. The new report flies in the face of repeated claims by the Coalition government that renewables are undermining the reliability of electricity system.

Melbourne trial looks to beef up grid for rooftop solar boom

A $2.2 million trial run by Jemena, AusNet Services, and UNSW Sydney will explore how existing network infrastructure can better integrate with solar power, as Australia’s rooftop PV uptake goes from strength to strength.

ARENA backs distributed generation projects with close to $10 million

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded $9.6 million in grants for five projects and seven studies into the role of distributed generation assets on the grid – and how to expand their penetration.

Manufacturing

Featured

Even with new capacity investments, Enphase still sold out

Enphase says its inverter lead times are ~13-15 weeks, even with dedicated manufacturing lines for components. Two new long term contracts expect to turn on in Q3 and Q4 ’19, lowering lead times to ~6-8 weeks.

Inverter supplier offers utility solar-farm planning, grid modelling and O&M services

Supplier of solar inverters SMA has announced two new service offerings – plant engineering, and operations and maintenance – designed to de-risk new project investment, streamline grid connection, and drive greater ongoing performance from utility-scale solar farms.

Canadian Solar revises up estimates while giving PG&E update

The Ontario firm has revised figures for shipments, net revenue and gross margin after seeing better-than-expected trading in the final three months of 2018.

Jinko achieves 24.2% efficiency for its n-type monocrystalline cell

The Chinese module maker said the result was certified by the Photovoltaic and Wind Power Systems Quality Test Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The record, Jinko said, is thanks to its high quality n-type wafers, selective doping technology and advanced fine-line printing.

PV Info Link: Jinko the largest module maker of 2018

According to the Taiwanese analysts, JA Solar was number two, followed by Hanwha Q-Cells and Trina Solar in joint third. The ten largest module makers met around 70% of demand, with 66 GW of shipments.

REC Group strengthens Australian presence with new distributer

Having welcomed Sol Distribution on board, Norwegian solar manufacturer REC Group hopes to expand its presence in Australia, which it sees as its key market in the APAC region.

Energy Storage

Featured

Energy Renaissance selects Cadenza as technology partner, aims to establish 1.3 GWh lithium-ion cell manufacturing in Australia

A bold plan to establish a 1.3 GWh lithium-ion battery cell and module factory in Australia has moved a step closer to reality with prospective manufacturer Energy Renaissance selecting U.S. battery cell developer Cadenza Innovation as technology partner. Energy Renaissance plans to have modules rolling off its first 300 MWh pilot line within one year.

Pacific island nation re-tenders big solar-plus-storage project

An initial tender on Palau was won by French energy company Engie, through its unit Engie Electro Power Systems. The 100 MW microgrid project consisted of coupling 35 MW of solar and 45 MWh of storage with diesel generation.

Genex Power starts works on 250 MW pumped hydro project

With financial close still in the works, Sydney-based publicly listed Genex Power has moved on the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, part of its landmark renewable energy hub in far-north Queensland, signing an early works agreement with EPC contractors McConnell Dowell and John Holland.

World’s first solar-powered passenger car on roads next year

A Dutch start-up has designed an electric vehicle that runs solely on solar energy, and aims to deliver its first models next year. The car will also be available to lease.

Redflow batteries power remote Thai village

The Brisbane-based battery supplier has deployed 10 of its zinc-bromine flow batteries coupled with three li-ion batteries to store solar generated power in a far-flung village in northern Thailand.

India eyes South America’s lithium reserves for battery manufacturing

As India plans to set up large lithium-ion battery plants, the Lithium Triangle countries in South America (comprising Chile, Argentina and Bolivia) have offered to meet India’s growing demand for lithium.

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