In this interview with pv magazine USA SunPower CEO Tom Werner gets into the why and how of his company’s purchase of SolarWorld Americas, and what to expect from SolarWorld’s Oregon factory in the future.
Signs continue to mount that Friday’s COAG Energy Council meeting will agree to move forward with the National Energy Guarantee mechanism. This comes despite continuing and serious objections from some states to the meagre 26%-on-2005 emission reduction target.
The French oil group, which is the parent company of U.S. solar manufacturer SunPower, is set to acquire a 74.33% stake in France’s third largest electric utility Direct Energie. Prominent Australian renewable developer and IPP Neoen was established by Direct Energie in 2008, although it will not be affected by the transaction and will continue to remain “totally independent”.
Belgian institute Imec will be the coordinator of a project involving many of Europe’s leading research organizations, which will focus on developing stable, scalable, low cost PV modules based on perovskite technology. The project, named ‘ESPResSo’ has received more than €5 million in funding from the European Union.
Rooftop PV installation rates in Australia are breaking all previous records. March saw the highest number of rooftop systems ever installed in the country, worth a capacity of some 127 MW.
The CEC has encouraged COAG Energy Council to support the further development of the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in its meeting on Friday. The peak renewables body’s support, however, is contingent on the policy being fleshed out, “and [it] addressing concerns in relation to the emissions target.”
David Blowers, an Energy Fellow with the Grattan Institute, reports that “solid progress” has been made on the design of the National Energy Guarantee.
A new report drafted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre shows that global solar energy investments overshadowed all other forms of electricity generation in 2017. China is leading the pack of the world’s largest renewables investors, followed by Australia, Mexico and Sweden.
Scientists from the University of Wollongong have developed prototype battery cells based on sodium-ion technology, which the university says can achieve excellent cycling stability and easily be scaled up to mass production.
Shell’s new report shows a world where solar meets the largest portion of primary energy demand as soon as 2050.
From just a handful of large-scale solar PV projects a few years ago, Australia is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. With a substantial project pipeline, the country is in the box seat to experience a banner year in 2018, with the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) now in hand and a new policy taking shape for the period beyond.
The first commercial deployment of Power Ledger’s P2P energy trading platform will take place in partnership with energy solutions business Greenwood Solutions, which will be in charge of installing solar across strata units.
In August 2017, Solar Hybrids completed a 226 kW array at the UQ’s Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) in Brisbane. The system, across two rooftops presented a significant challenge in that both roofs were partially shaded. By utilizing SolarEdge, an additional 60 kW could be added to the array.
Latest Global Solar Demand Monitor from GTM Research forecasts 6% annual increase in PV installation growth although current largest markets will register 7% contraction while geographic diversification poised to grow.
The Spanish tracker manufacturer has announced its first deal in Australia just months after opening a subsidiary in Sydney.
Western Australia energy provider Synergy has named RCR Tomlinson as EPC contractor for the expansion of the Greenough River solar farm from 10MW to 40MW.
South32 has announced a remote, off-grid renewable energy project at its Cannington mine, which will involve a 3MW solar farm.
Scientists at European solar research organization, Solliance have announced the achievement of 14.5% conversion efficiency on a perovskite module. The module uses a glass substrate, and the efficiency was measured on an aperture area of 144 cm².
A $7.7 million funding initiative for energy retailer Simply Energy to build a second virtual power plant across Adelaide was announced by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced it is looking for expressions of interest for trialling short-term forecasting projects from large scale wind and solar farms across Australia.
Scientists from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) have announced the development of a new wet chemical process to allow multi-cSi wafers to be cut with diamond wire saw technology, and subsequently textured to reduce their reflectivity.
Scientists at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have demonstrated the first working example of a ‘proton battery’, which utilizes a carbon electrode and reversible hydrogen fuel cell for the storage of energy. The scientists say that their small prototype has already demonstrated similar storage capacities to commercially available lithium-ion batteries, with plenty of potential for further optimization.
The German inverter maker sold 8.5 GW of solar PV inverters last year. Revenue, however, dropped by €50 million, while net profit remained flat at €30 million.
Roughly seven months after its new beginning, the German solar PV manufacturer has again filed for insolvency at the District Court of Bonn – the second time in one year. SolarWorld blames the planned phasing out of anti-dumping measures by the EU Commission against Chinese competition and the further drop in prices.
Japanese electronics giant, Sharp has announced the achievement of a 25.09% conversion efficiency, from a cell utilizing both heterojunction (HJT) and back contact technology. The measurement has been validated by Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET).
Annual International Roadmap for Photovoltaics, compiled by the German production equipment industrial association (VDMA), reveals slowdown in module price reduction for 2017 in contrast to significant market increase that saw module production capacity rise above 130 GW.
The list includes many of the big names in the industry as well as a request to exempt the entire EU panel industry.
Analyst data records 53% annual growth in storage in 2017, rising to 1.9 GW as South Korea climbed to top of the tree in terms of cumulative capacity. Global project pipeline has soared to 10.4 GW.
Inaugural global energy storage report by GTM Research finds that Australia’s behind-the-meter storage market tripled in 2017, while the U.S. remains the world’s leading market with an installed energy capacity of 431 MWh. China poised to rise to second place globally in 2019.
After the 50MW Stage 1 solar farm was switched on late last year, the Kidston renewable energy hub has now received a development approval for 270MW of solar, which is to be co-located with a 250MW pumped storage hydro project.
Australian solar analyst SunWiz puts Australian residential storage installations at 20,789 for 2017. The number represents a trebling on 2016 and it is the highest among analyst assessments of the market segment.
‘Unprecedented challenge’ for fossil fuels as low LCOE for solar and wind power, allied to tumbling storage costs, sees renewables claim larger share of bulk and dispatchable generation while adding vital flexibility to global energy mix.