Cornwall Insight Australia energy consultant Con Dimitrakakis explores how “clean” the hydrogen produced in Australia by a grid-connected electrolyser could be, depending on its location and change in variable renewable energy penetration into the grid.
In eight years, Australia wants to be four-fifths powered by renewables. Solar and wind investment is pouring in. But to firm the renewables and overcome the intermittency, we need overnight energy storage. That’s why there’s so much interest in pumped hydro.
It has been an interesting year for Australian energy markets, facing unprecedented high energy prices, coal outages, and market suspension. In this Chart of the Week, we investigate the impact a battery energy storage system would have made during FY 2022.
Economist Ross Garnaut’s latest book, the Superpower Transformation, is promoted as a “practical plan” to put the vision of in his earlier Superpower into effect. Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University, questions if the vision is premised on an imperfect logic.
As uplifting as Australia’s climate turn around is, SMA Australia’s Joshua Birmingham says it would be “naive” to ignore the fact that this rapid growth will present challenges for the industry, with demand potentially outstripping supply in many key areas of the renewable energy value chain.
Australia’s solar industry can expect to contend with elevated shipping costs and ongoing supply disruptions for at least another year before a ‘normalisation’ of the global ocean freight system.
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.
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.
BHP has started the year by signing a PPA that will halve emissions at its Nickel West Kwinana refinery and double its green cred as a supplier to environmentally conscious lithium-ion battery manufacturers.
A report by Finnish company Wärtsilä has estimated the potential impact if every dollar committed to a non-renewables energy sector recovery was instead funnelled to clean power.
The ACCC, Australia’s consumer watchdog, has begun contacting almost 5,000 households as part of an updated recall on LG solar batteries prone to overheat and catch fire, with the watchdog noting the dangerous products may fall under various brand names. The news comes as NSW Fire and Rescue reported a massive spike in battery fires for 2022.
Australian renewables developer North Harbour Clean Energy will team with European battery energy storage systems supplier CellCube to establish a vanadium redox flow battery manufacturing and assembly facility in Australia with a projected capacity of up to 1 GW/8 GWh per annum.
Customers’ desire for fast, simple access to rooftop solar has driven the industry towards one-stop solutions, with all system components under the same brand and warranty arrangements, and integrated under a proprietary intelligent digital control system. pv magazine Australia spoke with Gavin Merchant, country manager for Australia and New Zealand, about the new SolarEdge Home equation and the economic drivers of full rooftop package adoption.
The developers behind a proposed $5.5 billion (USD 3.7 billion) pumped hydro renewable energy project in central Queensland have announced a new partnership to develop up to 4.5 GW of long-duration energy storage in Victoria that is to be integrated with new renewable generation and green hydrogen production.
With the US offering tremendous capital to “friendshore” its renewable supply chains, the cofounder of a major renewables investor, David Scaysbrook, says President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act could turn Australia into a critical mineral and rare earth powerhouse. “The question is, do we have the stomach for that?” Scaysbrook asks. For Tim Buckley, director of Climate Energy Finance, it’s a matter of the government taking a whole system approach and going early.
After almost four years of delays the solar-wind hybrid 60 MW Kennedy Energy Park in north Queensland is inching towards full operation. Project developer Windlab confirms the final stage of testing and commissioning of the Australian-first hybrid renewable energy project is underway.
One of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays will be energised this week with CleanPeak Energy announcing the second phase of a 5 MW PV system at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide is set to be switched on in the coming days.
The International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme has standardised guidelines for operation and maintenance programs for large-scale solar plants. It defines O&M performance indicators and standard O&M operator services, as well as tools to analyse PV plant performance and safety.
A trio of New South Wales councils have signed a renewable energy supply deal with energy retailer Flow Power that will underpin the development at least two new solar projects totalling more than 8 MW of PV in the state’s South Coast region.
The booming uptake of home PV systems has steered Western Australia to a new peak for instantaneous renewable energy share, with clean energy – including rooftop and large-scale solar – providing a record 81% of the total electricity generated in the state’s wholesale electricity market.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, effectively the federal government’s green bank, has been allocated a further $500 million (USD 332 million) to invest in the commercialisation of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other technology innovations.
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a new, interactive version of its research cell efficiency chart for a range of PV technologies.
Chinese solar manufacturing giant Longi has announced the achievement of a world record 26.81% conversion efficiency from a cell utilising heterojunction technology on full-size silicon wafers in mass production. The company said the measurement has been validated by Germany’s Institute for Solar Energy Research.
Japanese scientists have described the steps that need to be taken to improve the average efficiency of CIGS solar modules, from around 18.5% at present to more than 20%. They presented all of the critical technical factors that are currently holding the tech back from broader market adoption.
Pioneering PV researcher Martin Green has received an abundance of accolades over his 50-year career of fundamental solar research with teams at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). That contribution was further recognised on Sept. 26, when he picked up the WCPEC-8 Award in Milan, Italy. Green spoke with pv magazine about the role of technologies such as PERC cells and his efforts to advance non-toxic thin film semiconductors for the tandem cells of the future.
Cofounder of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, David Scaysbrook, says the US Inflation Reduction Act can make Australia a green energy superpower – but not in the way we expect. The policy will fundamentally undercut Australia’s competitiveness exporting green hydrogen, but offers giant opportunities for critical materials. Scaysbrook also expects Australia’s 2023 to be lean in terms of renewable investment, especially when it comes to “vanilla” projects.
Indian scientists have designed a new all-perovskite tandem solar cell configuration that can reportedly achieve higher efficiencies than similar devices built with the same materials. The top perovskite cell has a wide bandgap of 1.75 eV and the bottom perovskite cell has a bandgap of 1.25 eV.
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and United Renewable Energy (URE) have developed a solar panel that can be easily dismantled to simplify the recycling process. They claim 96% of the materials in the panel can be recovered, including all of the solar cells and front glass.
The Gladstone Regional Council has ratified an ambitious roadmap that will be used to help the central Queensland city navigate the transition from traditional coal and gas hub to a green hydrogen and renewable energy superpower.
German researchers have created an algorithm to predict and identify string yield losses or underperforming strings without additional weather data. It could be used to inspect modules, strings, arrays, inverters, and transformers.
US battery specialist Powin and US investment firm BlackRock have started work on a 909 MW/1,915 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in Australia. Construction is set to begin in 2023 and will finish by mid-2025.
Singapore-headquartered infrastructure developer Equis has announced plans to construct a 1,200 MW/2.4 GWh battery in Victoria that it claims will be the largest battery energy storage system yet developed in Australia and Asia.
After a productive pilot project that saw solar, batteries and VPP technology installed at 60 public schools in New South Wales, the state government is now seeking proposals to finance, deliver and operate such renewable energy solutions across 2,200 public schools.
Sun Cable is seeking to develop the world’s biggest intercontinental solar and storage project, and has now inked a deal with the Indonesian government that could unlock more than $170 billion (USD 115 billion) in renewable energy generation and transmission operations in the archipelago.
Australia’s first hybrid solar and renewable hydrogen microgrid has officially launched as green hydrogen production began at Horizon Power’s demonstration plant in the coastal community of Denham in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region.
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