Top News

CECF directed to shift focus to more reliable, 24/7 power

Under a new Investment Mandate, the Morrison government has instructed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support the development of a market for firming intermittent sources of renewable energy and to prioritise investments that support “more reliable, 24/7 power“.
Installations

ARENA grants $1 million to Ausgrid’s Power2U program

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $1 million to Ausgrid to boost its innovative grant program for rooftop solar and energy efficient lighting. The program aims to reduce participating customer’s bills, as well as avoid costly ...
Installations

NSW gives two large-scale solar farms go-ahead

After granting an approval for a major solar+storage project at Darlington Point this week, the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has greenlit two more utility-scale solar PV projects - the 170 MW Suntop Solar Farm and the 47 MW Greg...
Markets & Policy

Government underwriting of new “firm” generation more strategy than substance

Clean-energy advocates have slammed Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s proposal to underwrite investment in new “firm” generation capacity as a “coal-preservation fund”. The first formal outing of the policy appears vague, non-binding, and heading ...
Energy Storage

NSW: 275 MW solar+100 MWh storage at Darlington Point gets regulatory nod

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment has given the green light to a massive solar farm coupled with a utility-scale energy storage facility. The project proposed by Edify Energy is valued at $407 million.
Markets & Policy

CEFC tips $100 million into ARIF for equity renewable investment

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is upping its equity investment in large scale renewables by almost 40%. The CEFC announced today a $100 million investment in the Infrastructure Capital Group’s (ICG) Australian Renewables Income Fund (ARIF).
Manufacturing

SMA announces over 400 job losses, China closure

SMA Solar technology AG has announced that around 425 full time jobs or 12.8% of its global workforce will be lost as part of its restructuring efforts. The PV inverter manufacturer will also discontinue operations in China, preferring to refocus its eff...
Manufacturing

First Solar sees a doubling coming in 2019

The U.S. module maker projects 5.4 to 5.6 GW of solar module shipments next year, more than double its current projected 2018 volumes of 2.6 to 2.7 GW.

Press Releases

November Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data now available

The Clean Energy Regulator has released November 2018 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data.

Eco Energy World complete sale of a 130 MW fully merchant solar project in Australia 

Eco Energy World (EEW), an international developer of utility scale solar projects, is pleased to announce it has now completed the sale of the 130 MW Aramara solar project in Queensland, Australia. The full capex of the project is estimated to be in excess of AUD 150m, and the project is funded on a fully merchant basis, without a PPA.

Clean Energy Regulator wishes you a happy festive season

The Clean Energy Regulator will be closed for business from 5 pm AEDT on Monday, 24 December 2018 and will reopen for business as usual at 9 am AEDT on Wednesday, 2 January 2019.

China’s Seraphim to supply modules to Australia’s largest smart solar farm

Jiangsu Seraphim Solar System Co. Ltd.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Two million PV systems – solar a political power

We owe a lot to John Howard. He may not have realised it in May 2007, but when he doubled the Photovoltaic Rebate Program value to $8000, our second longest serving prime minister set in motion a chain of events that would lead to Australia hosting 2 million rooftop solar power systems.

IEEFA Australia: Thermal coal export sunset looming closer

Coal miner Glencore is failing investors in its latest forecasts.

The least wrong – rapid change in the energy station difficult to predict

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.

Renewables 2.0: Preparing for the new complexity of renewable energy in a post-subsidy world

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’.

Solar and storage ethics: a moral dilemma for the renewable age

Heath Frewin, the Head of Distribution at Energy Networks Australia sets out the “growing ethical dilemma” brought on by rising rooftop solar adoption.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Pumped hydro: Snowy Hydro 2.0 approved by board, NSW plans 24 projects totalling 7 GW

The New South Wales government has launched its ambitious pumped hydro roadmap designed to back the rising level of wind and solar in the energy mix. Meanwhile, the board of government-owned energy provider Snowy Hydro has given the green light to its landmark $4 billion pumped hydro expansion project, Snowy 2.0.

Northern Territory launches $5 million Rooftop Solar Schools program

As part of its Roadmap to Renewables Plan and transition to 50% renewable energy by 2030, the NT government is set to roll out rooftop solar on up to 25 schools across the state over the next three years.

Greatcell Solar enters administration

Perovskite solar cell specialist Greatcell Solar has failed to secured refinancing for its activities and has been forced to appoint administrators. The company lays the blame at the federal government’s door, pointing to the R&D rebate changes and policy settings that are unsupportive of renewable energy investment as the reasons behind its downfall.

Australia aims to become world li-ion battery manufacturing powerhouse

The federal government has launched a strategy seeking investment to unlock Australia’s potential in lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Noting that the nation’s mineral reserves cover 90% of the elements required in li-ion battery chemistry, the new Austrade report underlines that Australia is well-positioned to become a world leader in this fast growing market.

World’s largest distributed energy management system to be deployed in Western Australia

PXiSE will deploy its Active Control Technology to manage up to 50,000 distributed energy resources across Horizon Power’s 2.3 million square kilometre network, which it says will enable higher levels of renewable energy.

Eguana Technologies reports strong order book in SA

The Canadian battery manufacturer says its order book has crossed the $1.5 million mark in less than two weeks after joining the South Australian Home Battery Scheme.

Installations

Featured

New NSW large scale solar guidelines encourage community consultation, “suitable site selection”

The New South Wales government has released new guidelines for PV power plant developers in the state. The guidelines encourage “early consultation, continual consultation and suitable site selection.”

CEC: Over $11 billion in large scale PV under construction

The Clean Energy Council has tallied the numbers underlying Australia’s large scale renewables boom. And big PV is shattering all records, with almost $11.5 billion in projects currently being constructed.

Australia’s PV rooftop potential of 43 GW to 61 GW revealed

2018 has been a watershed year for Australia’s PV sector, with the surge to rooftop solar uptake making the country the residential-PV capital of the world. And there’s a considerable potential room for growth, a whopping 50 GW a new study has found.

Fremantle residents to trade solar energy using blockchain

Around 40 residential properties across the port city of Fremantle, Western Australia, will be able to trade solar power using a blockchain-enabled platform. The trial is even open for residents who do not have solar PV on their rooftops.

Western Power introduces new mechanism for 900 MW of large scale renewables

In an attempt to encourage more large scale renewable development while maintaining grid stability, Western Power has introduced its Generator Interim Access (GIA) mechanism for 900 MW of wind and large scale solar projects. The GIA will open the door for some PV power plant projects to go ahead in the state, if they agree to curtail production when instructed to do so by the grid operator.

Three perspectives from the NSW 2018 #smartenergysummit

The 2018 NSW Smart Energy Summit was crowded with attendees eager to hear former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, unfettered by party politics, address the state’s solar and renewables sector.

Technology

Featured

Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better

NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves.

UNSW Sunswift solar car sets Guinness World Record for efficiency

The UNSW Sunswift solar car team has set a new record for the lowest energy consumption while driving across Australia in an electric car. The team completed the journey between Perth and Sydney two days ahead of schedule with the car’s energy consumption on the journey came in well below the previous record.

UNSW, Leadmicro to partner on ALD for PERC production

UNSW Sydney has partnered with Leadmicro to develop the next generation of PERC solar cells and fast-track their time to market. The Chinese PV production machinery manufacturer is donating $1 million Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) reactor to UNSW to test and adapt a new process for PERC cell solar cell production.

World first base for Airbus solar powered pseudo-satellite launches in WA

The world’s first Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating base has been officially established in the north of Western Australia. The unmanned aerial vehicle, running exclusively on solar power, will be operating out of Wyndham with the goal to provide observation and communications services to a range of customers.

South Australia’s Tesla big battery saves $40 million in grid stabilization costs

A new report analyzing the world’s largest lithium-ion battery’s performance in the first year of operation shows the Hornsdale Power Reserve has delivered on high expectations of its performance and market impact. It has helped stabilize the grid, avoid outages and reduce system costs, as well as triggered a surge in uptake of similar fast response systems across Australia.

Australia’s first hydrogen test station opens in Canberra

ACT gas network operator Evoenergy and the Canberra Institute of Technology have partnered to build a first of its kind hydrogen test facility at CIT Fyshwick. The station will test up to 100% hydrogen in deployments in which natural gas is currently used.

Manufacturing

Featured

Interview: Australian market settings “favour advanced solutions”

High levels of rooftop PV penetration, an informed public, small seasonal irradiance variation, and market structures that favour maximising solar self consumption: Australia is ideally situated to see the adoption of the smart home. So says SolarEdge founder Lior Handelsman who spells out how the company is expanding its Aussie operations and offering a growing range of solutions to put rooftop PV to its best use.

Hanergy to partner with ETS in its first HanWall cooperation

Hanergy and Environmental Technology Solutions (ETS) will partner to introduce the HanWall BIPV solution to Australia. The companies have signed a cooperation agreement, which targets 4.3 MW of HanWall installations.

Hanwha Q Cells posts $165m loss in Q3

The South Korean PV manufacturer saw sales increase slightly in the last quarter. Net losses, however, more than quadrupled compared to the previous period.

PV Info Link expects solar demand to reach 112 GW in 2019

That would mean a market increase of around 25% on this year. Demand is predicted to become particularly strong in the second half of the year. Australia is forecast to see lower demand than usual in the first quarter, but also be among 16 nations worldwide that will add over 1 GW of solar capacity in 2019.

Nextracker to supply 255 MW Sunraysia Solar Farm

EPC contractor Decmil Group has selected Nextracker’s NX Horizon solar trackers for the 255 MW Sunraysia Solar Farm, one of Australia’s largest solar farms located in New South Wales.

Australian shipments of Jinko 400Wp+ Cheetah modules to commence in January

The first shipments of Jinko’s new Cheetah module series will commence in January 2019. The module uses larger monocrystalline wafer, PERC cell technology and is available in either a half or full-cell format.

Energy Storage

Fronius, BYD partner for three-phase backup power supply

A new three-phase residential inverter and battery solution will be introduced to the Australian market in the new year. Fronius and BYD underlined their collaborative agreement when representatives of the two companies met “recently” in Austria. Fronius believes the solution is the first of its kind to provide “this type of emergency power supply.”

QUT researchers discover process to lower the cost of renewable hydrogen

Hydrogen holds promise for harnessing renewables to produce clean fuel for transport, grow a green energy-export industry, and overcome seasonal intermittency challenges in the grid. On the road to viable hydrogen production every cost-efficiency measure counts.

Molten silicon storage enough to power city, says MIT

The system turns light of white-glowing molten silicon into electricity using specialized PV cells. The researchers claim that the concept could store electricity at around half the costs of pumped hydro. A single system comprising two ten meter tanks could power 100,000 households.

Long read: State and territory subsidies for Australian storage

While little action is seen on the federal level, energy storage is increasingly coming to the fore as part of state and territory energy policies. With a rising number of residential battery subsidy schemes taking shape in Australia, funding appears to be slowly moving away from solar to energy storage. Such initiatives are poised to not only reshape the battery storage market, but also have a major impact on the grid, making it more reliable, responsive, and flexible.

Sonnen to provide primary balancing power to German grid from networked home storage

After months of preliminary work, the time has come: With its PV+home storage network, sonnen GmbH has received prequalification from TenneT to participate in Germany’s primary control energy market. While it is currently allowed to deliver 1 MW, the goal is to supply 100 MW.

Battery grant and loan scheme expanded by Queensland government as interest surges

After around 1200 applications were lodged for the original 1500 packages in as little as two weeks, the Queensland government has introduced an additional 1000 battery grant packages to help households and small businesses cut their energy bills with the help of solar and storage.

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