Top News

NSW Government’s Empowering Homes program set in motion

The Berejiklian government has launched a pilot program that will allow eligible Hunter residents to access interest-free loans for battery and solar-battery systems.
Technology

Small-scale utility solar thriving on path of least resistance

South Australia is seeing a surge of small-scale utility solar as the niche, particularly around the 5MW mark, can fly under the radar of much of the electricity network's congestion woes. The newly completed Mannum Solar Farm Project is one such example.
Installations

Agrivoltaics in New Caledonia

The 16-greenhouse Focola project has been developed by French renewables developer Akuo and local utility company Enercal Energies Nouvelles on the Pacific Ocean territory.
Announcements

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Technology

AEMC decides against new rule on calculating transmission losses

The Australian network rule maker has ignored the plea of some of the biggest solar and wind project owners in Australia to change the way marginal loss factors (MLFs) are calculated. While it has acknowledged that transmission has failed to keep up the ...
Manufacturing

International consortium claims 25% efficiency for flexible CIGS solar cell

Researchers led by Belgian institute imec claim to have achieved the result with a 1cm² flexible thin-film cell intended for building-integrated PV application. The result tops the 24.6% efficiency the consortium announced in September 2018. The cell’...
Markets & Policy

The 16 GW imperative: Large-scale solar conversation moves into storage

“We need 16 GW of storage in the NEM to complement the renewable generation coming in,” said former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a renewable energy conference this week. And in one sense, that’s all you need to know...
Employment

Gladstone to run on gas-green hydrogen blend as gigawatt-scale plans take shape

The traditional coal and gas hub of Gladston is turning into a green hydrogen mecca with two new ambitious projects in the pipeline. The city has been selected to host a gigawatt-scale green hydrogen and ammonia development and a gas injection facility t...
Installations

Central Highlands Water joins river of utilities flowing from the sun

Victoria's Central Highlands Water becomes yet another tributary to the river of Australian water utilities to invest in solar. The utility's community-driven Solar Initiative could see half of its energy needs met with solar PV.
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Press Releases

The International Microgrid Association partners with IQPC Australia to deliver the first microgrid event in the Southern Hemisphere

The International Quality and Productivity Centre (IQPC) Australia have formed a key partnership with the International Microgrid Association (IMA) to deliver the first microgrid summit in the southern hemisphere, hosted in Perth, Western Australia.

Trina Solar’s Module Shipments Worldwide Exceed 10 GW in 2019

Trina Solar Co. , Ltd.

Australian Hydrogen Council welcomes funding for hydrogen projects

The Australian Hydrogen Council has welcomed the announcement of $1. 28 million to establish the Australian Hydrogen Centre.

Ditrolic Solar and UOB Malaysia sign agreement to help Malaysian companies adopt renewable energy

Ditrolic is the fourth solar energy service provider to partner UOB Malaysia under its U-Solar programme.

Opinion & Analysis

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.

What lies ahead for the NEM in 2020? Some lessons from 2019

After a leisurely break over the holiday period, I have returned to my desk to get right back into the analysis of what I think will be a pretty exciting year for the NEM. Connection difficulties, commissioning delays and stubbornly high storage costs point to uncertainty on the supply side, while strong rooftop uptake continues to whittle out daytime operational demand.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Why go solar? We can think of at least 333 reasons

Australian researchers have compiled data from 173 studies which examined homeowner behavior when buying rooftop PV and identified 333 predictors related to the attitude, knowledge, tendency, awareness, willingness and intent of householders.

Another one Bights the dust

Norwegian giant Equinor is the latest oil and gas company to abandon controversial plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight, following in the backtracks of BP, Chevron and Karoon Energy.

First Solar announces surprise fourth-quarter loss, considers sale of development business

‘First Solar, at its core, is a technology and module manufacturing company,’ said Mark Widmar, chief executive of the U.S. company.

Energy storage research hub launched at UNSW

The ARC Research Hub for Integrated Energy Storage Solutions has a broad research mandate as it looks for innovative energy storage solutions for the energy transition, but some of the nation’s finest minds are now working on them together.

45 renewable generators affected by West Murray connection woes

Many more renewable generators than originally thought are in a holding pattern as a result of oscillation problems in the weak-grid, high-resource area known as the West Murray. State Governments, AEMO and the renewables industry have hunkered down to find solutions that will also find application elsewhere in the grid as connection fever mounts.

How to make rooftop PV resilient in hurricane regions

A report published by the Rocky Mountain Institute makes recommendations for rooftop PV in regions affected by high winds. The study draws on the knowledge of structural engineers asked to analyze 25 solar systems across five Caribbean islands after they were hit by major hurricanes in 2017 and last year.

Installations

Featured

WA water corporation to roll out further 15 MW of solar

Western Australia’s government-owned Water Corporation has committed $30 million over three years for solar energy projects around the state.

Western Power launches Round 2 of stand-alone power system rollout

The Western Australian government-owned utility is continuing the rollout of its landmark off-grid program for regional properties looking to reduce or entirely remove the need for new poles and wires.

RACV partners with Enphase to boost its rooftop PV offering

The deal will see the U.S. technology company supply its smart microinverters as part of an RACV initiative to enhance its current residential and commercial solar offerings.

Blockchain, butchers’ paper and US$100 trillion: Energy Leaders Forum revs up net-zero by 2050

The debate now stewing in the Australian Parliament around the viability and cost of setting a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 is again proving a case of too little vision applied too late. A new forum casts all participants as “leaders” and as it seeks to accelerate emissions reduction opportunities today.

Queensland supercomputer to test seamless integration of renewables on and off the grid

A world-class research and development hub planned for Cairns will be home to a supercomputer that will be used to simulate and model intricate networks in order to enable renewable energy and energy storage to form a greater part of microgrids and isolated systems for remote communities.

Golden solar flowing from the taps of iconic Meekatharra pub

The Meekatharra Solar Consortium is a spirited community initiative in the West Australian Outback town of Meekathurra. The Consortium has installed solar PV across two turn-of-the-century buildings and intends to share the solar power with the community.

Technology

Featured

Slip-Slop and Slap it on everything, the ‘Solar Skin’ that doesn’t burn

Professor Guan Yeoh is an essential part of a project to commercialise a solar polymer membrane called 'Solar Skin', which can generate energy from both direct and indirect sunlight and off both vertical and horizontal surfaces. The technology has the potential to transform every CBD and local government area into a solar farm. pv magazine Australia sat down with Professor Yeoh for a Q&A.

UQ: A quantum dot solar cell with 16.6% efficiency

Scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland have set a new world record for a quantum dot solar cell. The group fabricated a 0.1cm² device from perovskite and measured power conversion efficiency at 16.6%. The record has been verified by the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Pioneering solar-powered aircraft completes Australian test flight

The PHASA-35 crewless solar and battery-powered aircraft completed its first test flight this week. The pioneering solar-powered aircraft could fill a niche as a cheap alternative to satellites.

Victoria decides to go it alone on transmission to unlock more large-scale renewables and batteries

The Victorian government has decided to break away from national electricity rules and introduce legislation that will fast-track priority projects like grid-scale batteries and transmission upgrades and make room for more large-scale solar and wind on the grid. The announced reforms have prompted a flurry of reactions.

UNSW students and solar PV in remote Vanuatuan communities

UNSW student groups have been visiting Tanna Island in Vanuatu for over a decade. The solar PV solutions they’ve brought with them have helped many communities, but since Cyclone Pam tore through the region in 2015, sustainable solar is more important more than ever.

5 things to watch in Australian solar sector in 2020

Despite a massive drop in renewable energy investment seen last year, 2020 promises to bring both good and bad news for the Australian solar sector. While network conditions will continue to deteriorate, the low-carbon policy will become more supportive but also more chaotic.

Manufacturing

Featured

Oi! Energizer batteries are coming back to Australian homes

Global battery brand Energizer's entry into the residential solar energy storage market is being facilitated by two Australian companies, including Evergen, whose optimisation tech was developed by the CSIRO.

QUT: A titanium solar cell with 24% efficiency

The Australian research team which developed the device said the higher efficiency was achieved through a nanowire design which eliminates the interface inside the titanium dioxide band.

Jinko Solar the world’s biggest module provider again in 2019

The solar giant shipped 14.2 GW of modules last year, up 33% on 2018 for the high-water mark of another year dominated by Chinese manufacturers.

Coronavirus could cause PV module, battery cell shortages in Australia

As the outbreak takes its toll on solar panel and battery manufacturing in China, Australia is bracing for disruptions in the supply chains.

Coronavirus could cost Chinese battery makers 26 GWh of output

WoodMac analysts say the amount of new battery manufacturing capacity added in the nation this year could fall by as much as 10% because of the outbreak. With Tesla’s Shanghai gigafactory affected by the extended new-year-holiday shutdown, the analyst warned of potential supply shortages for Australia and the U.S. and U.K.

Enphase Energy partners with Australian solar industry players to advocate rooftop PV safety

The California-based microinverter maker has partnered with installer Solaray and wholesaler AC Solar Warehouse in Australia to intensify the calls against rooftop DC isolators, stressing they should be replaced with safer equipment now available in the market.

Energy Storage

Featured

AGL, Hillgrove Resources scrap 250 MW pumped hydro plans

Australia's biggest power producer AGL and copper miner Hillgrove Resources have agreed to abandon the ambitious pumped hydro project at an old mine pit in South Australia. No longer bound by the project restriction, the owner intends to step up mining and drilling activities at the site.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, 5B Solar and Tesla to bring power to bushfire communities

A new venture funded by the Cannon-Brookes family is looking to install stand-alone solar and battery systems at up to 100 sites around Australia affected by recent bushfires and floods.

Rio Tinto to power Pilbara iron ore mine with solar PV

Mining giant Rio Tinto has approved the construction of a large-scale solar PV and battery energy storage system for its Koodaideri mine in Western Australia. When completed, the solar plant will be in the running for Australia’s largest PV installation at a mining site.

Microgrid management technology hard at work in Onslow

PXiSE says its microgrid controller technology is successfully managing the output of a solar farm and a grid-scale battery in coordination with a gas power station in the coastal town of Onslow. It now readies for the next stages of deployment of its software solution across Horizon Power’s network.

Daintree solar to hydrogen microgrid closing on reality

An Australian-first solar to hydrogen-based microgrid for the World Heritage Protected Daintree Rainforest is another step closer to reality this week after Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch revealed the feasibility study funded by the Federal Government last year is “on track”.

The inner workings of a lithium battery

An international group of scientists has developed a comprehensive method to track the microscopic processes at work in lithium batteries. Employing a ‘virtual unrolling’ model developed for ancient manuscripts too sensitive to be opened, the group peeked inside the layers of a commercial battery to gain a better understanding of the processes at work and the degradation mechanisms affecting them. Their findings, the group says, could provide a benchmark for battery characterization.

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