More than 11 million PV inverters will be shipped in 2019 alone, and most of these will be connected to a software platform and controlled by the inverter companies. This creates an opportunity for suppliers to create new models and revenue sources, writes Cormac Gilligan, research and analysis manager at IHS Markit. And indeed, in recent years inverter suppliers have been rapidly developing ‘Internet of things’ software platforms to take advantage of this.
Maximilian Schurade, Director of Technical Marketing Support at Hanwha Q Cells shares his thoughts on the solar industries current trends and challenges ahead of speaking at this year’s Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition in Sydney.
It’s no secret that global energy demand continues to rise, with some estimating an increase of a third by 2040. Meanwhile, writes David Green, Research & Analysis Manager for Smart Utilities Infrastructure at IHS Markit, the energy industry is on the cusp of a 100 year change away from oil and coal hydrocarbons towards renewables and natural gas. Every stakeholder in the industry has a role to play in the energy transition, including within the industrial sector which accounts for 50% of global energy consumption.
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.
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.”
Significant progress has been reported on the feasibility study which aims to progress the establishment of a 15 GWh lithium-ion battery factory in Townsville. The study is conducted by the Imperium3 Townsville consortium.
Solar could meet approximately 68% of global energy demand with other renewables making up the rest, according to a new report. A 100% renewable energy system could also create 22 million solar jobs by 2050, the study claims. Keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C, though, would require FITs for projects up to 40 MW in capacity, auctions for bigger systems, removing fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies and providing more education and R&D and less red tape.
First-quarter data from Green Energy Markets shows double the uptake of small-scale rooftop solar on the same period last year as record numbers of residential and business consumers seek to reduce their electricity bills. The tendency for installations to increase toward year end suggests that more than 2 GW of solar will hit the rooftop tiles this year. How could this become a cautionary tale?
German battery maker sonnen is following its takeover by Shell with plans to expand its market reach. It says it will use the opportunity to jointly push the energy transition. With an eye on sustainability, sonnen has launched an industry-wide initiative to push cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries for home storage systems.
The Australian supermarket giant is issuing green bonds to fund the development of low-carbon supermarkets and the installation of solar at its stores and distribution centres.
Solpod today launches a potential game changer in commercial solar PV. Substantially funded by ARENA, supported by energy retailer, ERM Power, and trialling across 25 shopping centres and NSW Government sites, this innovation has the legs to go global.
Australian researchers are developing short-term weather forecasts for solar farms to help them precisely predict output as little as five minutes in advance.
Spanish developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) has announced that its latest operational project in Australia, the 100 MW Lilyvale solar plant, is now up and running. FRV’s parent says it is strategically investing US$900 million throughout the world in 2019 to increase its installed capacity to 5.8 GW by 2024.
The Queensland government has laid down regulations for solar farms that will allow only licensed electricians to install or remove PV panels. But the new rules will put hundreds of local jobs at risk and could bring some projects to a standstill, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has warned.
Hanergy displayed the newest rendition of its 18.7% Thin Film Flat SOLARtile in Australia last week as it gears up for the U.S. and global product launch later in 2019.
An online platform to connect medium to small-scale solar energy producers with independent electricity buyers will launch in the coming months in South Australia.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Adelaide-based laser supplier Lastek are developing equipment and procedures to accurately measure the performance of multi-junction solar cells with the help of an LED-based solar simulator.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will underpin two innovative distributed energy projects – a trial to integrate a virtual power plant trial into the National Energy Market and a digital marketplace for grid services provided by rooftop solar arrays, batteries and EVs owned by Australian homes and businesses.
From four to 24 hours: before solar and storage, the 160 households on a Philippine had electricity for only four hours each day. This had negative impacts on the economic development of the islands. With support from the ADB, the island inhabitants now have 24 hour supply of clean energy, and new billing methods that suit the economic realities of poorer households.
Following the decision to require retailers taking part in the Solar Homes program to be signatories to the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Retailer Code of Conduct, the Victorian government has set specific requirements for inverters that will be installed under the program.
The ITC will look at cells made by LONGi, JinkoSolar and REC Group, based on claims by Hanwha Q Cells that the companies have infringed on its PERC technology.
Sharp has released three new high-efficiency mono-PERC solar panels. Ranging from 300 W to 370 W, the five-busbar modules are designed for use in a range of applications, from residential PV projects to large commercial installations.
The Norwegian solar panel manufacturer says Hanwha Q Cells did not provide full particulars of its allegations despite REC Group’s requests and went ahead to commence proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia.
The German inverter producer’s sales also fell significantly in the past financial year. With its cost reduction program, SMA is now eager to orchestrate a turnaround, but its first-quarter guidance still shows a sustained downward trend.
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).
The Perth-based Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) will address industry-identified gaps in the battery industry value chain, support battery deployment and optimise the circular economy for battery recycling.
Due to the immense success of the program — and with rebates now almost fully subscribed — Solar Victoria will accept a final 2,000 applications before the end of June, the state government has announced. New solar rebates will be available in the next financial year.
Building on its existing PV fleet, South Australia’s Flinders University has announced a fresh investment of $1.45 million to source one-third of its electricity needs from solar.
The Port Augusta concentrated solar power project billed as the world’s biggest has ground to a halt. Although it was granted additional time, U.S. firm SolarReserve failed to achieve financial close and proposed selling the 150 MW project to a third party.
A new report from the Clean Energy Council confirms 2018 shattered all records in terms of investment in renewables and capacity additions. The CEC finds that more than 2.3 GW of new renewable energy projects were completed in 2018. Both large-scale and rooftop solar experienced their best ever year.
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