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Each Monday, we’ll be looking back at the week that was – and providing the latest info on upcoming meetings and events.
Last week two things happened related to rule changes on losses. The AEMC released a draft determination, rejecting the proposal to move to Average Loss Factors (ALF). They also held a working group for COGATI which proposes dynamic marginal loss factors.
Australia made its first moves to open up its energy industry in the 1990s, when the National Electricity Market (NEM) was first created, and many of the rules and regulations from back then are still in place today. But the rise of renewables in the 21st century, argues Clean Energy Investor Group Chair Rob Grant, necessitates a rethink of this market structure.
Utility-scale solar is booming in Australia. Quality assurance, especially solar panel testing, helps achieve better performance and lower costs. Best-practice testing is key, writes Michelle McCann, managing partner at PV Lab Australia, but must be planned and fully integrated into a project from an early stage. This integration ensures flow-through from panel manufacturers to commercial buyers and large project owners.
The Australian utility-scale PV and wind industries have just gone through a record two years of construction and commissioning. More specifically, writes Rystad Energy’s David Dixon, utility-scale PV has transformed from a megawatt-scale market to one measured in gigawatts. The resultant boom in utility-scale PV in the country has attracted developers, EPCs and OEMs, from at home and across the globe.
When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.
Tasmania has approached international investors to present its unique potential for the production of hydrogen from renewable sources as it seeks to emerge at the forefront of the nation’s green hydrogen push.
New South Wales (NSW) Energy & Environment Minister Matt Kean’s address at the Smart Energy Council’s (SEC) National Smart Energy Summit was full of sharp statements and strong solar support.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced $15 million in research funding to investigate the end-of-life issues for solar PV panels. Ultimately it is hoped the research increases solar PV efficiency and lowers the cost.
Trade body SolarPower Europe’s preliminary statistics suggest this could be the continent’s best year for PV since 2010, with capacity additions set to soar 104% year on year. Spain is leading the way with an expected 4.7 GW of new solar, followed by Germany, with 4 GW.
Labelled as a state significant development, the Maryvale Solar Farm has received a regulatory nod, opening the way for construction work to begin. The project is owned by Photon Energy, Canadian Solar and Polpo Investments.
The second stage of the Greenough River Solar Farm is set for completion in the second quarter of 2020. Its developer has reported that module installation is well underway at the site.
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) CEO Audrey Zibelman has turned heads at the Smart Energy Council’s National Smart Energy Summit in Sydney, saying that by 2040, 25% of Australia’s electricity will be produced by rooftop solar PV.
Two years after announcing its market entry, the India-based EPC heavyweight has commenced construction of its first Australian project.
The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute is planning a huge solar power project which will integrate agriculture and livestock farming in the Sabah region. The research institute claims to have already secured $50 million for the project’s first, 200 MW phase. The 25,000ha required for the projects will host up to 150,000 cattle as well as cultivation of forage crops such as kenaf, corn, wheat and hay.
With all the benefits of its power optimization and smart monitoring system, SolarEdge’s new Smart Panels allows for quick installation, with the array’s key components all covered “under the same umbrella.” For installer Joe Harvey from SEA Solutions on the NSW Central Coast, the new integrated module offering has reduced costs for both him and his customers: “We’ve found that everyone wins.”
A global study has found that Australia lacks interest in EVs, a finding due largely to the impedimental admixture of cost, range anxiety and lack of charging options.
The AEMC’s annual report on electricity price trends predicts the continued fall in electricity prices around Australia. The trend, says the AEMC, is driven in some large part by the influx of renewable energy generation.
California-based Greentech startup ReCarbon, which recycles greenhouse gases by converting them into hydrogen, is targeting a big Australian investment.
Construction is underway on the first urban solar farm to harness the power of clean energy using Epho’s Bright Thinkers Power Station. The technology overcomes various constraints for solar in the city allowing installations to operate both behind and in front of the meter.
Victoria’s Essential Services Commission has proposed electricity retailers should offer PV owners the option to choose between a single rate feed-in tariff and a time-varying feed-in tariff, and set lower minimum rates for both.
The first commercial shipment of China-made Soluna batteries has reached the Australian shores. The new battery brand will be sold locally by a joint venture between Lithium Australia and China’s DLG Group.
An Indian research team has analyzed around 300 scientific studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.
Residents of Stockland homes will be able to get a discount on their rooftop solar and batteries thanks to a new national scheme recently launched by the property developer.
In a classic example of nominative determinism, like Usain Bolt running as fast as a bolt of lightning or Bulgaria’s ill-fated 400m hurdler Vania Stambolova, the Golden family of Clifton Hill take advantage of golden sunlight to power their home.
Researchers have made a finding they say could vastly simplify and reduce the production cost of perovskite solar cells. Working with mixed halide perovskites, the group found a disordered chemical composition can improve device efficiency.
All of the winemaker’s Australian sites are now using renewable electricity thanks to the completion of the nation’s largest combined winery solar installation and a 10-year power purchase agreement to source renewable electricity.
Tasmania’s ambitions of becoming the Battery of the Nation improve after early reports on the proposed Marinus Link, a second interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria, show the project’s economic advantages far outweigh expected costs.
The 90 MW West Wyalong Solar Farm has become the latest addition to the swelling solar PV pipeline in the Riverina region having secured the NSW Government’s approval.
A recent survey commissioned by Redback Technologies has found that almost a third of Australians lack understanding of solar, another barrier to the adoption by Australians of integrated solar and battery systems. pv magazine Australia sat down with Redback Technologies CEO Patrick Matweew to discuss.
Adelaide-based energy storage specialist 1414 Degrees has announced plans to acquire SolarReserve Australia II, which owns the Aurora Solar Energy Project in South Australia and two solar sites in New South Wales. The company proposes to use the Aurora site to build a massive 400 MW solar farm with progressive thermal storage capacity to several thousand MWh.
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