Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears to be moving towards securing Coalition agreement for a net-zero emissions by 2050. It comes weeks out from the crucial COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, where Australia’s record on global climate action will be heavily scrutinised.
Last year, a day after Halloween, I saw firsthand the result of the most hectic hailstorm I’ve ever endured. Springfield Lakes, Greenbank and a few surrounding Brisbane suburbs got absolutely smoked. It was reported in February that the damage bill had reached at least $805 million. More recent reports have estimated it to be over $1 billion.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison may be warming to a net-zero emissions target by 2050, but Australia is still far from adopting it – largely thanks to resistance from the National Party.
In the third of a series of four blogs, solar pioneer Philip Wolfe lists the world’s largest solar parks. In these articles, a “solar park” is defined as a group of co-located solar power plants.
The past week saw more records broken in the National Electricity Market (NEM), with instantaneous renewable generation hitting a record 59.8% in the afternoon of Sunday 19 September 2021, before breaking 60% for the first time on Monday 20 September 2021. Sunny weather across both days meant rooftop solar made up around half of renewable generation at this peak output, reducing operational demand and suppressing prices during the day.
Processing nightmare, or product opportunity? Impending five-minute settlement comes at a difficult time for energy retailers. Software from across the ditch could help highlight the benefits and opportunities of more solar and a forecast uptick in battery energy storage.
The latest global PV industry outlook published by trade group SolarPower Europe, has indicated tight supply of the solar panel raw material is expected to persist this year but the trade body said it would be unlikely to drive further price rises.
Despite the growth, one-off exceptional events in the fourth quarter hit the solar EPC’s overall fiscal performance. These included a prime subcontractor going bankrupt in Australia, rising module prices, and increased freight costs.
More than 100 Australian businesses, including some of the country’s largest, have banded together to put pressure on government to commit at least 1% of GDP to a green energy recovery in the May budget and to ensure a more equitable transition to renewables for marginalised Australians.
The $2 trillion package includes a proposed 10-year extension of the ITC and PTC and calls for further incentives to add transmission capacity. Most solar advocates liked it, but one nonprofit panned it as being too industry-friendly.
Australia’s largest wholesale solar distributor is expecting shortfalls of supply coupled with 20% to 30% cost increases as a result of the energy crisis in China. The situation in Australia is particularly fragile, pv magazine Australia was told, with our low pricing and the comparable size of our market not playing to our favour in the global battle for solar supplies.
A Victorian solar installer has been fined $500,000 for a string of workplace safety breaches, including a 2019 incident where a worker suffered serious injuries after falling through a skylight.
The New South Wales government at long last released its hydrogen strategy today. The wait, according to hydrogen expert Andrew Horvath, has been worthwhile. He described the strategy as clever in its approach to drawing longterm hydrogen investment into the state. “It’s a little bit different the way [NSW] looked at it,” he told pv magazine Australia, refuting the strategy’s branding as less ambitious than other states.
China’s president has detailed plans to accelerate the planning and construction of large-scale wind and PV projects in desert areas, while Wuxi Shanghai announced new granular silicon and nano-silicon production capacity expansions.
India headquartered multinational Reliance Industries, through its subsidiary Reliance New Energy Solar Limited, yesterday announced the acquisition of Norway headquartered module manufacturer REC Group. The move comes as Reliance pushes forward with its US$10 billion plan to move in on the renewable energy industry, having also this week announced acquisition of a 40% share in EPC provider Sterling & Wilson.
Green energy fund CEP.Energy is forging ahead with plans to establish itself as a renewable powerhouse, appointing Adelaide-headquartered contractor Enerven to provide engineering, procurement and construction services as it looks to accelerate its ambition to build 1.5 GW of solar and 2 GW of big battery capacity around Australia.
Queensland-based designer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery energy storage systems RedEarth Energy Storage plans to expand its product range and increase manufacturing capacity after raising $12 million in a pre-initial public offering funding round led by Ord Minnett Private Opportunities.
Meyer Burger plans to start selling a new building-integrated PV product from 2022. It says the solar tiles have a high energy yield, with simplified installation and the ability to also provide heating. German engineering company paXos designed the tiles.
Against the backdrop of a second Victorian reverse auction for renewable energy, German-owned developer Wirsol takes up a large-scale solar project in the border city of Wodonga.
From iron ore magnate to renewable energy mogul, Dr Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest intends producing everything he needs to turn the world away from fossil fuels to green hydrogen. The latest? A renewable energy infrastructure-manufacturing facility in Aldoga, near Gladstone.
The first big battery to stand alone without government support, Bouldercombe Battery Project capitalises on Genex Power’s experience gained on the road to Kidston Clean Energy Hub.
Nothing if not critical, the 900 km renewable energy transporter is inching towards shovel time. This weekend ElectraNet awarded transmission and substation contracts for South Australia’s piece of the electron super highway to Australia’s National Electricity Market.
Developed by Swedish manufacturer Azelio, the system stores renewable energy in recycled aluminium and has an electrical and thermal energy output, with a total efficiency of 90 %. One unit’s storage capacity reaches 165 kWh of electrical output and on top of that thermal energy between 55-65 degrees Celsius. Its modular configuration allows the deployment of projects with a capacity of up to 100 MW.
The proposed $3.5 billion Marinus Link interconnector between Tasmania and the Australian mainland has reached a significant milestone with “critical” environmental referrals being lodged with the federal and Victorian governments.
German equipment supplier M10 and research institute Fraunhofer ISE will unveil a new prototype stringer for shingled module layouts at the Intersolar Europe trade show later this week. Employing an offset layout for the shingles, the approach promises a relative efficiency gain of up to 6%, compared to a conventional half-cell module.
Fortescue Future Industries has revealed plans to develop a 1 GW solar PV module manufacturing plant in Australia after confirming it had acquired a 60% stake in Netherlands-based renewable energy specialists High yield Energy Technologies Group.
Singapore-based VFlowTech has secured funds to scale up manufacturing of its vanadium redox flow batteries. The company currently offers three modular products that can be scaled to multi-megawatt-hour systems.
Vietnamese manufacturer Irex has announced a new glass-glass solar panel with a power output of 265 W and a power conversion efficiency of 18.1%.
Dansk Solenergi ApS has developed a 13.6 kg tile that can be used for both new buildings and building renovation. The device is currently being produced in Denmark, where the company operates a 40 MW line.
A group of international researchers has observed how non-radiative charge recombination occurs in organic PV and claims to have identified a potential solution that could bring this solar tech closer to crystalline silicon in terms of power conversion efficiency.
The system has dimensions of 834×417×1,766 mm and weighs 205 kg including the design panel. It achieves an electrical efficiency of 56% and can be connected with a hot water storage unit.
Closed-loop pumped-hydro storage offers more chances to minimise environmental effects on water sources and overcomes the problem of finding suitable sites. According to an Australian research team, closed-loop systems could prevail on open-loop systems in the future and this trend is confirmed by another group of scientists from the United States.
Rose Amal arrived in Australia from Indonesia 38 years ago to study at UNSW. Now her leadership and research are contributing to a new sustainable economy for Australia and clean fuels for energy-hungry industries.
The project includes a solar park coupled with what HDF Energy claims is the “largest green hydrogen storage of intermittent electricity sources” at 128 MWh. Importantly, the company also simultaneously announced expansion plans into Australia, saying its hydrogen technology will soon be available here, adding that it has “projects already in development for Australia”.
Australian renewable energy developer Genex Power has inked a deal with Tesla to develop its 50 MW/100 MWh Bouldercombe Battery Project in Queensland using the United States-based electric vehicle manufacturer’s lithium-ion battery technology.
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