Australia’s energy transition is well under way. Some 3 million households have rooftop solar and sales of medium-sized electric cars are surging. But as we work towards fully electric households powered by renewable energy, have we overlooked a key enabling technology, the humble electric water heater?
To power Australia without fossil fuels will mean using batteries to store power from solar and wind. We often think this means home batteries – or large grid-scale installations.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has renewed its calls for a fast-tracking of new transmission links, saying that parts of the country’s main grid are effectively in gridlock and causing unprecedented amounts of wind and solar to be curtailed.
AUKUS has been widely hailed as Australia’s largest-ever defence investment and the Quad as a new focus for defence strategy – but what do they mean for our energy landscape? SMA’s Joshua Birmingham argues it’s time to look beyond defence cost and grow our relationships to fight the climate change war.
It sounds like a lot. Kickstarting green hydrogen in Australia with $2 billion (USD 1.35 billion) to subsidise early production and making the energy-dense gas competitive. A goal of up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity within seven years.
Panel shipments collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars are blocked from entering the United States market as they have failed scrutiny under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, said Reuters.
Biden has made a long list of promises and commitments to the environment and future of clean energy if elected. Which of these promises could we see immediate action on and which are years down the line?
As Victorians fly out of lockdown and into the thick of summer the solar industry is preparing for the release of pent-up demand for solar which was hungered for during lockdown but went unsatisfied. pv magazine Australia sat down with AC Solar Warehouse’s Grant Behrendorff to gauge the backlog of installations and talk shop in the approach to a bumper summer.
Spanish tracker giant STI Norland has expanded to Australia with a new subsidiary office in Melbourne. The company is arriving on our shores with a keenness to compete with tracker suppliers who already have their foot in the door. With no solar farm too big or too small, STI Norland Australia CEO Alan Atchison sat down with pv magazine Australia to talk about how the company plans to make tracks Down Under.
GRS has passed the 550 MW mark in its Australian portfolio with the energisation of its 39 MW Molong Solar Farm in Central West New South Wales. The project is now on the verge of grid connection tests and thereby closing in on full-fledged generation.
Queensland hydrogen battery startup Endua has installed its first 100kW standalone hydrogen power bank in south Brisbane. The news come weeks after the company raised $11.8 million (USD 7.81 million) to scale the technology.
Phillip Island off Victoria’s southern coast has switched on a 5 MW/10 MWh lithium-ion phosphate battery to support the island’s grid during peak tourism periods.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a new report that solar will remain the main source of global renewable capacity expansion in 2023, accounting for 286 GW. In 2024, the figure is set to grow to almost 310 GW, driven by lower module prices, greater uptake of distributed PV systems, and a policy push for large-scale deployment.
Developed by Chinese researchers, the novel hybrid storage technology may achieve an efficiency of over 80% and be applied in distribution and transmission grids. The proposed combination is reportedly able to offer the advantages of gravity energy storage and power-based storage systems in a single solution.
Australian hydrogen developer Abel Energy and Spanish energy group Iberdrola are pushing ahead with plans to deliver a 240 MW green hydrogen and green methanol production facility in Tasmania, inking a deal to secure a site for the $1.2 billion (USD 79 million) project.
Melbourne Market Authority has switched on a 2.4 MW solar carpark at its facility in North Melbourne. It is the first in a three stage project, which will eventually result in a 10 MW rooftop system.
Queensland has laid out an ambitious vision for the state’s energy future, releasing draft legislation that calls for an additional 22 GW of new wind and solar projects by 2035, supported by at least 12 GW of storage, firming and dispatchable technologies including grid-scale batteries and pumped hydro storage.
Australian energy major AGL is pushing ahead with plans to transform its Loy Yang power station site in Victoria into a clean energy industrial hub, announcing it has signed a deal with Solar Recovery Corporation to explore the feasibility of establishing a PV panel recycling facility at the site.
Large-scale and rooftop solar installations are expected to contribute a record 286 GW of new generation capacity this year with renewable energy on course to shatter global deployment records in 2023.
Construction of eight large-scale renewable energy generation and storage projects with a combined capacity of more than 1 GW commenced in Australia in the first quarter of 2023 but the Clean Energy Council has warned the project pipeline is drying up as “headwinds” increase.
Griffith University researchers have developed a tool to identify sites for pumped hydro storage projects. Using North Queensland to demonstrate the tool, the researchers identified 14 potentially feasible sites in the region where the LCOE ranged between $0.04/kWh – $0.27/kWh.
Construction of Australia’s first commercial-scale concentrated solar power plant is on track to begin next year with developer Vast appointing American Australian engineering company Worley to help deliver a 30 MW/288 MWh facility planned for South Australia.
Brisbane-based Li-S Energy has developed a 20-layer battery cell utilising semi-solid state lithium sulfur battery technology. The company claims the new cell displays nearly double the gravimetric energy density and a comparable volumetric energy density to lithium-ion cells.
A Dutch research group has used a series of techniques from the automotive industry to develop a novel methodology to repair glass in double-glass solar panels. Their experimental work represents the step towards transforming glass-damaged solar panels from waste into valuable products.
South Australia’s electricity transmission network operator ElectraNet has outlined a $2 billion-plus (USD 1.3 billion) pipeline of transmission projects as it seeks to keep pace with a “rapid” energy transformation that could lead to a doubling of the state’s electricity usage by the end of the decade.
A global race is underway to capture the manufacturing market for clean energy technologies. While lady lucky has certainly shone on Australia, competition is fierce, experts say.
An international research team in China has used Czochralski n-type c-Si wafers from China-based Sichuan Yongxiang to build textured wafers with a thickness ranging from 65 μm to 55 μm. They have used the wafers in heterojunction solar cells ton hit efficiencies close to those of devices cells based on conventional wafers.
The annual SiliconPV Conference came to TU Delft in the Netherlands in April, and offered an important health check for the science and technology behind solar energy. pv magazine was on site to hear the latest from researchers reaching for higher efficiency through tandem cells and other innovations; looking to understand and mitigate cell degradation mechanisms; and working to cut down solar technology’s consumption of rare and expensive materials.
The rise of rooftop solar in Victoria will see all new inverters installed under the state government’s solar and battery rebate programs soon required to be technically capable of remotely updating and enacting dynamic export limits to allow network companies to manage the export of rooftop solar back in to the grid.
The new series comes in seven versions, with power outputs between 560 W and 590 W. The power conversion efficiency ranges between 21.7% and 22.8%
Renewables investor Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has confirmed its focus is on the onshore potential of Sun Cable’s estimated $35 billion (USD 22.76 billion) Australia-Asia PowerLink project that aims to deliver up to 800 MW of renewable energy into Darwin and export solar from Australia to Singapore via a submarine transmission link.
The New England megaproject just became even more mega, and is now set to house a 1.4 GW / 2.8 GWh battery – taking the crown for Australia’s biggest battery. Developer ACEN Australia says the NSW government has approved its expanded battery proposal, which is set to go in next door to its 720 MW New England Solar project.
Despite their promise, adoption rates of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) in Australia have been underwhelming. Head of Renewable Energy Finance at Plenti, Louis Edwards, says the issue stems from VPP operator’s overlooking their point of sale. “It’s too much risk the installer takes and they don’t do it,” he tells pv magazine Australia.
Queensland flow battery company, Redflow, has commissioned a 30 kWh zinc-bromine flow battery for the Brisbane City Council.
GemLife, which describes itself as “luxury resort living for the over-50s,” has set up its own Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and is set to invest $75 million in coming years to rollout the VPPs across more than 10,000 homes in its property portfolio on Australia’s east coast.