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.
As the deployment of renewable energy continues to expand around the world, driven by various inputs, such as capital allocation and investment, falling capital costs, competitive LCOE and various policy mechanisms, we are now moving towards a new era for renewable energy. ‘Renewables 2.0’ will have significant, wide-ranging consequences for all market players, as regulators reduce their support and power producers seek new revenue models. In this article, Duncan Ritchie, partner at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory, will look at the key market developments for renewables, explode the myth of grid parity, highlight the need for flexibility and explain the importance of new financing solutions that are capable of meeting the new complexities brought about by ‘Renewables 2.0’.
Heath Frewin, the Head of Distribution at Energy Networks Australia sets out the “growing ethical dilemma” brought on by rising rooftop solar adoption.
After taking a 90.1% stake in one of Australia’s largest solar PV projects – the 255 MWp Sunraysia Solar Farm last month, U.K.-based infrastructure investor John Laing has closed its second solar project in Australia – the 174.9 MWp Finley Solar Farm in New South Wales.
The amount of large-scale solar capacity that commenced generation during the third quarter of 2018 was higher than the NEM’s entire large-scale solar capacity at the start of the year, reports the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). In other news, Western Australia has pass the 1 GW solar milestone, while South Australia has seen record levels of curtailment.
Half of Victoria’s energy could come from renewable energy source, as the Labor government has vowed to expand the state’ renewable energy target from 40% in 2025 to 50% in 2030, if re-elected.
Victorian renters could be able to access rooftop solar power in a new scheme for renters unveiled by Labor leader Daniel Andrews and Lily D’Ambrosio. The announcement, made at Gippsland Solar in the LaTrobe Valley today, would provide $82 million in rebates over 10 years, targeting an initial 50,000 homes.
The new Democratic majority in the House will still need to deal with a Republican Senate and president, and is unlikely to take bold action.
Only weeks after Victoria’s first big battery was unveiled in Ballarat, the retrofitted 25MW/50MWh Tesla powerpack battery at the Gannawarra Solar Farm was commissioned ahead of schedule, confirms Germany’s Wirsol Energy. The developer’s major solar projects in Victoria have reached milestones: the 60 MW Ganawarra Solar Farm has successfully passed all commissioning tests, and the 110 MW Wemen Solar Farm has been connected to the grid.
Major universities across Australia are turning to solar PV to bring down energy costs, and to show leadership on climate change. In addition to deploying rooftop arrays across campuses, they are now developing their own renewable energy assets and coming to inventive financial arrangements, emerging as torchbearers in this booming corporate PPA market.
Project developer Sunseap has announced plans for one of the world’s largest PV systems floating on seawater, to be built in the Johor strait which separates Singapore and Malaysia. The 5 MW system is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
The NSW Department of Planning has given the green light the 55 MW Vales Point solar project, one of the first large scale solar power plant in Australia to operate in conjunction with a coal-fired power station.
After being commissioned in stages, the Bungala Solar Farm near Port Augusta in South Australia is now fully operational. At 220 MW/275 MWdc, Bungala is Australia’s largest solar farm completed to date.
Alice Springs, the solar capital of Australia, has welcomed its first big battery. The 5 MW energy storage system is projected to double the share of solar in the local grid, which can currently supply up to 40% of the Alice Springs’ power needs.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has significantly increased its forecast for global deployment of behind-the-meter and grid-scale batteries from now to 2040. The research company sees Australia among nine markets that will be driving this trend, as the economic case for batteries becomes unstoppable.
Australia’s first community battery trial went live on Monday, after the 52 available spots had been snapped up by Mandurah households – three months ahead of schedule. The trial involves a bulk Tesla battery integrated into existing grid and owned and operated by Western Power and Synergy.
In a joint effort with Kia Motors, Hyundai Motors is developing solar roofs and bodies for its EVs, hybrids and ICE vehicles to provide additional charging capacity. Depending on solar irradiation levels, the technology could provide 30-60% battery charge per day, the manufacturer says.
By 2021, solar will become one of the most dominant power sources over peak daytime periods, accounting for around a quarter of the National Electricity Market’s power, shows new analysis by Green Energy Markets. The report underlines that solar is currently reducing expensive demand peaks, and is not close to exceeding demand as certain media reports have suggested.
Enphase’s 3rd quarter results saw revenues at $78 million with an estimated $10 million sales shortfall due to a component shortage, as the company shipped 204 MW of inverters. Future speculation saw an international play on the IQ8, the SunPower partnership, and energy storage driving growth.
German inverter supplier SMA has picked up two landmark projects in the APAC region. The 50 MW Minbu Solar Park in Myanmar, the largest solar array in the country, will deploy SMA’s Sunny Central platform, while string inverters from SMA’s Chinese subsidiary Zeversolar have been installed at a 20 MW floating project in Jiangsu.
Passing the 2 GW installation milestone, opening its DG business and moving into Southeast Asia: Nextracker’s Australian operations is proving to be a bright spot on global map. For Peter Wheale, VP responsible for Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, it’s vindication of his conviction that the market was going to take off, and success in which fortuitous timing played no small roll.
The inverter maker took number one spot in the United States from SMA this year, and acquired majority stakes and IP in uninterrupted power supply company Gamesa and storage system provider Kokam. While other companies have consolidated, SolarEdge managed to report robust results.
Chinese module manufacturer Trina Solar has launched its “all-in-one“ kit in Australia targeting the rooftop solar segment. Its expectations of the Aussie market are high, as the company continues to pursue overseas expansion to ride out the China government policy shake-up.
The New South Wales government has announced plans to install up to 900 batteries with a total capacity of 13 MW on hospital and schools that already have rooftop solar systems.
Looking to set the direction for a smart energy future, the New South Wales government has launched the Emerging Energy Program. As part of the scheme, funding will be provided to support the commercialization of new low-emissions, large-scale power generation and storage projects, as well as underpin feasibility studies to help get new projects off the ground.
Testing lithium-ion, redox flow, and sodium-sulfur technologies, EPC provider CMI Energy wants to establish which types of system, or which combinations, are most suitable for different applications using the 4.2 MWh facility.
Origin Energy has won federal government funding for a feasibility assessment on plans to double the capacity of its Shoalhaven pumped hydro scheme in New South Wales and thus allow for greater storage of renewable energy.
The South Australian government has inaugurated its landmark $100 million Home Battery Scheme, which will subsidize the cost of buying a home energy storage system for up to 40,000 South Australian households. A nine-week priority period has been given to locally made battery systems, with Germany’s sonnen as the first provider to enjoy this benefit.
Independent, professional reporting on the latest technological trends and market developments worldwide. 12 issues per year including free worldwide delivery and access to our online archive.