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Weekend read: Gigawatt-level increments

In recent years, Longi has turned its attention to green hydrogen. Li Zhenguo, company founder and CEO, speaks with Vincent Shaw in Shanghai about the strategic shift and how coupling this technology with solar PV will be key to achieving carbon neutrality.
Energy Storage

Sun Cable megaproject secures support of Infrastructure Australia

Sun Cable’s ambitious $30 billion-plus Australia-Asia PowerLink project, which is set to be the largest solar farm, largest battery and longest subsea electricity cable developed globally, has passed another major milestone with the Australian governme...
Markets & Policy

Evergen eyes international market after sealing $15 million FRV-X deal

Australian solar and battery optimization technology provider Evergen will seek to accelerate its expansion in both the domestic and international markets after closing a $15 million fundraising round led by FRV-X, a division of Saudi-owned energy develo...
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Markets & Policy

ACAP lands $45 million to kick renewable energy transformation into gear

The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics will receive up to $45 million in federal funding over the next eight years as it seeks to develop the next generation of efficient and ultra low-cost solar technologies.
Installations

Debunking myths about PV system orientation, dimensioning

New research from Lappeenranta University of Technology shows that there is no single correct orientation for a PV installation.
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Installations

War pushes Ukraine to deploy solar

New small-capacity solar power plants are being developed in Ukraine to avoid blackouts, which is helping businesses to stay afloat amid dire economic conditions.
Installations

Okra Solar secures $3 million to bankroll mesh-grid expansion

Australian renewable energy tech start-up Okra Solar has raised $3 million to scale up distribution of its solar-based hardware and software solutions and electrify more than 290,000 off-grid homes in Nigeria in the next three years while expanding its o...
Markets & Policy

WA announces ‘ambitious’ plan to cut emissions by 80% by 2030

Days after announcing it would abandon coal-fired power by the end of the decade, the Western Australian government has set an ‘ambitious’ interim emissions target in a bid to reach net zero by 2050.

Press Releases

Water Corp selects Boundary Power for Broome plant power upgrade

Horizon Power’s joint venture with Ampcontrol, Boundary Power is partnering with Water Corporation to deliver a renewable standalone power system for one of their facilities in Western Australia's Kimberley region.

NSW takes the lead with EV charger boost

Electric vehicle drivers in New South Wales will benefit from a further $38 million in charging infrastructure announced as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget to accelerate the EV revolution across the state.

$5 million to accelerate the Territory’s hydrogen industry

The Northern Territory government is investing $5 million over four years to accelerate and expand the hydrogen industry in the territory.

REC Group powers up for growth with APAC appointments

REC Group, an international pioneering solar energy company headquartered in Norway, today announced two new appointments to strengthen and lead its APAC Sales & Marketing division as the company continues to drive innovations and expansion.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Market suspension lifts, but underlying drivers may stick around

It has been a chaotic few weeks on the east coast, culminating with the national electricity market being suspended on 15 June 2022, an outcome not seen in the modern version of the NEM. There has been much coverage of the key drivers of the crisis. It stems predominantly from a perfect storm of two main factors: thermal unit outages and high thermal fuel costs, as the NEM largely relies on thermal generation.

Realising electric vehicle-to-grid services

Dr Kathryn Lucas-Healey on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies and the Australian National University’s (ANU) Realising Electric Vehicle-to-grid Services project which will see electric vehicles being used to support the the national electricity grid.

5 policy decisions from recent history that led to today’s energy crisis

If you aren’t a long-term energy policy news junkie, you’d be forgiven for thinking the current crisis arrived fairly suddenly.

3 key measures in the suite of new reforms to deal with Australia’s energy crisis

With electricity prices surging to previously unimaginable levels, state and federal energy ministers met on Wednesday to consider how to respond to Australia’s energy crisis.

Australia’s energy crisis: 3 ways the Albanese government can ease pressure on your power bills

Australia is in the grips of an energy crisis, with electricity generation prices roughly 115% above the previous highest average wholesale price ever recorded.

Why did gas prices go from $10 a gigajoule to $800 a gigajoule? An expert on the energy crisis engulfing Australia

Australia’s east coast has been plunged into an energy crisis just as winter takes hold, which will see many people struggle to heat their homes due to soaring gas bills.

Covid-19

Featured

EPC giant warns of workforce shortage challenge for large-scale solar

Global renewables contracting giant Sterling and Wilson Solar has warned Australia’s large-scale solar PV industry faces a significant workforce shortage as the nation shifts away from fossil fuels towards renewable power.

Rooftop solar price to keep rising this year

British analyst GlobalData has predicted residential and commercial rooftop panels will not return to a declining price trend until next year, with post-Covid logistics headaches the cause, rather than a polysilicon shortage.

90 MW Sebastopol Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga reaches commissioning phase

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures Australia’s 90 MW (AC) solar farm outside Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, has reached the commissioning phase after less than a year of construction. Barring no obstacles, the project should start exporting solar energy to the grid in a matter of months.

Module and shipping cost inflation could cost the world 50 GW of solar next year

The input costs of the two biggest contributors to solar plant development expense have gone through the roof since the world began to come out of Covid-19 lockdowns, to leave project developers with some difficult choices.

LG Chem breakaway launches 16 kWh modular resi battery, plus plus

The performance and warrantable 10-year capacity of LG Energy Solution’s third-generation Prime series are among features designed to turn homeowners’ heads.

CEFC annual report glowing with ‘prudent investment’

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has published its annual report this week, a report glowing with the hue of ‘prudent investment’ according to the CEFC Chair. The report emphasises the prudence and efficacy of the green bank’s mandate despite attempts by the Morrison Government to siphon off funds for fossil-fuel investments.

Markets & Policy

Energy Estate targets $500 million to accelerate renewables growth

Australian renewables developer Energy Estate is seeking to raise more than $500 million to support its development activities and bankroll the construction of renewable power plants in both Australia and New Zealand.

Philippines approves 24 bidders for 2 GW renewables auction

Eight of the 24 bidders in the latest renewables auction in the Philippines are focusing on solar, along with eight bidders looking at wind, seven linked to run-of-river hydro, and one connected to biomass.

Solar auctions in India to attract large developers

A new report shows that renewable energy companies will continue to compete in upcoming auctions in India, undeterred by challenges such as rising materials costs and surging interest rates.

AEMO to restore national energy market

The market operator today announced a “staged” return to the national energy market’s normal operations as 4000 MW of generation capacity comes back into operation.

NSW & Queensland budgets handed down, both link clean energy investments to prosperity

Both New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland handed down their 2022-23 state budgets on Tuesday pushing the line that clean energy investments would lead the states to future prosperity.

Qantas partners with Airbus on sustainable fuels, Aviation H2 acquires hydrogen test engines

In aviation news, Qantas has announced a partnership with Airbus to invest up to $285 million to establish a sustainable aviation fuel industry in Australia. Meanwhile, startup Aviation H2 says it is in the process of acquiring test engines it will modify to run on hydrogen, which are due to arrive in the next five weeks.

Installations

Featured

Desert Knowledge solar centre adds large-scale battery

The Northern Territory’s Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre will soon play host to a large-scale battery energy storage system which is expected to facilitate the transformation of the multi-technology solar testing facility into a local microgrid.

Rio Tinto’s flashy new mine powered by 34 MW of solar 

Resources giant Rio Tinto has officially opened what it is calling its most technologically advanced mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Gudai-Darri iron ore mine features a 34 MW solar farm capable of meeting one-third of the facility’s energy needs.

Melbourne’s suburbs shining with solar and battery uptake

After a bumpy start, the Victorian government’s Solar Homes Program is now in full swing, lead by strong uptake in Melbourne’s suburbs and the state’s rural north. Meanwhile, demand for batteries linked to rooftop solar has skyrocketed over the last month, spurred by the energy crisis and an especially cold winter.

Tenders for floating PV, storage, hybrid wind-solar projects in India

Solar developers have until July 15 to express interest in developing 105 MW of grid-connected floating solar in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

AEMO says it has not suspended project commissioning but testing and resources limited amid crisis

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) says it has not suspended solar and wind project commissioning, though it noted the schedules for some projects have been adjusted because of the ongoing energy supply crisis.

High-wattage solar modules increase risk of thermal runaway

Longi Solar outlines its high-temperature mitigation logic in designing the lower current, high-wattage Hi-MO5 solar panel series.

Technology

Featured

Recycling process promises ‘better than new’ silicon wafers

Scientists in China have developed a new recycling process for PV modules that can recover intact silicon cells from end-of-life products, and process them back into wafers. As part of the recycling process, the wafers are purified and surface-treated, making them suitable for integration into new, high-efficiency cells and modules.

Energy board releases capacity market design, advocates fossil fuel inclusion despite criticism

Under renewed urges from ministers to expedite market reforms, the Energy Security Board has today released a ‘high-level’ design paper for its capacity mechanism proposal, through which the agency hopes to prevent a disorderly energy transition.

Weekend read: keeping FPV afloat

In many parts of the world, project developers and owners are increasingly looking to floating PV as the next long-term growth market in utility-scale solar. Gian Schelling, global business development manager for Hitachi Energy, says that PV-on-water can rise above the current challenges it faces by drawing on the lessons learned from offshore wind development.

Western Power reaches milestone in off-grid program

Western Australia’s regional utility Western Power has confirmed plans to install another 4,000 standalone power systems across the state in the next 10 years after reaching a milestone in the rollout of the renewable energy units.

Union raises safety concerns on Eyre Peninsula transmission project

Progress on the $300 Eyre Peninsula Link transmission project in South Australia has hit a hurdle with the Communications, Electrical Plumbing Union issuing a statement saying it had shut down the construction due to “appalling” health and safety conditions.

‘The villain is the framework’: crisis an opportunity to review regulation requisites

Australia’s energy crisis affords it an intricate, if painful, look at exactly where and how our current electricity regulations no longer fit their purpose. According to analyst Gavin Dufty, now is the time to retrain our eyes on the prize: designing a new framework suitable for the future decentralised system. “But everybody needs to put their guns back in their holsters,” Dufty tells pv magazine Australia.

Manufacturing

Featured

Battery metals: How quickly can supply ramp up?

A couple of weeks ago, Goldman Sachs sent shockwaves through battery metals markets, issuing a prediction that cobalt and lithium in particular were due for a sharp price decline in the next two years. But London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is loudly pushing back, outlining its reasons why it believes the call on lithium was wrong. Meanwhile, US analyst Wood Mackenzie says that the battery raw material chain will remain tight, but notes that recycling could help to ease the supply deficit.

Jolywood scraps solar plans in Indonesia

Jolywood has cancelled a plan to invest in solar cell and panel production in Indonesia, while Hangzhou First Applied Material has said that it will invest US$226 million (AU$324 million) in the expansion of its EVA film output capacity.

Solar cell efficiencies at a glance – updated

A research group led by UNSW’s Professor Martin Green has published Version 60 of the Solar cell efficiency tables.

Western Australia to exit coal by 2029 in response to competition from solar

Western Australia is set to exit coal-fired power by the end of the decade as state-owned power provider Synergy will close its two remaining coal plants by 2029 in response. Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said coal was no longer viable due to the high-penetration of solar, particularly rooftop. McGowan also announced a $662 million boost for the coal-town of Collie’s industrial transition and $3.8 billion in statewide renewable investment, with a focus on energy storage.

Edify secures financing for series of grid forming batteries in NSW

Edify Energy has completed the financing for its grid forming 150 MW / 300 MWh battery energy storage system. The system will be made up of three separate batteries in the Riverina region of NSW which have gained approval to operate in ‘virtual synchronous generator’ mode.

General Electric to triple solar, battery production capacity in India

The US multinational will expand the solar and battery energy storage manufacturing capacity at its factory in Tamil Nadu to 9 GW per annum by the end of 2022. The factory manufactures the FlexInverter power conversion solution and the FlexReservoir utility-scale energy storage systems.

Energy Storage

Featured

US startup unveils non-flammable batteries for EVs, storage

Alsym will produce its new batteries – made of readily available materials, without lithium or cobalt – for electric vehicles, stationary storage, and marine applications.

AGL looking to turn its Torrens Island facility into a green hydrogen hub

Australian energy giant AGL Energy has announced its leadership of a consortium of industry partners for a feasibility study into whether its Torrens Island facility can become a green hydrogen hub for domestic users and export.

Bowen stresses importance of transition to renewables as energy crisis continues

The Federal Energy Minister insists the Australian Energy Market Operator’s market intervention demonstrates that it is “more important than ever to manage the transition and get more energy into the system and more storage and transmission”.

Tasmania seeks investor interest to help shape state’s first REZ

The Tasmanian government is calling for registrations of interest from developers of new large-scale renewable generators and energy storage projects, and existing and proposed energy intensive load projects to participate in shaping the state’s first renewable energy zone.

Vast Solar teams with 14D on Aurora solar plus storage project

Australian solar thermal specialist Vast Solar has partnered with storage development company 1414 Degrees to revive the long-awaited Aurora Solar Energy Project – which is to comprise a combination of solar thermal, PV, and battery energy storage technologies – at Port Augusta in South Australia.

Pumped-hydro storage project takes shape in New Zealand

Lake Onslow, New Zealand, could become home to one of the world’s largest pumped-hydro storage facilities. A local consortium is now conducting a feasibility study and is investigating possible system designs and precise locations.

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