Top News

Smart Energy Council campaigns against NEG, latest government proposal “spells disaster’

Describing it as the “D-Day for renewables”, the Smart Energy Council is raising funds to campaign against the National Energy Guarantee – as currently proposed by the government. The solar and storage peak body has called for a 45%-by-2030 emissions reductions target as opposed to the current 26%.
Technology

Momentum builds for perovskite tandems, 25%+ efficiency achieved

Researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Oxford PV have presented a new record perovskite tandem solar cell, with a 25.2% conversion efficiency, independently verified by Fraunhofer ISE. Bernd Stannowski, from HZB presented the results this we...
Installations

Long read: Hybrid, low cost

Hybridization of power supply, through the inclusion of renewables, offers Australian mining companies the opportunity to score a significant “triple win” in the form of reduced cash operating costs, reduced fuel prices and reduced exposure to carbon...
Announcements

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Energy Storage

From $700 to $70: first Senec battery slashes summer power bill

The first Senec battery to be installed in an Australian home has helped the household reduce its summer power bill by 90%. The system, a 10 kWp Senec.Home battery, has helped the Spilsbury family in Perth’s western suburbs reduce its power consumption...
Installations

Rystad: Fully-commissioned utility-scale PV capacity to double by July

Australia is set to quadruple its utility-scale PV capacity in 2018, with a 2 GW pipeline. The effects of the expansion are now beginning to show, as projects come online. So far just 0.1 MW of the 2018 pipeline are fully operational, but as of July this...
Manufacturing

SunPower and Enphase team up with microinverter acquisition

Through the deal SunPower gets US$25 million and stock; however the bigger deal may be Enphase’s right to be the company’s exclusive residential inverter supplier.
Energy Storage

Australia overtakes Chile in global lithium production

Data published by the United States Geological Survey show that, in 2017, lithium production in Australia reached 18,700 tons, compared to 14,100 tons in Chile. The market share of Chile has declined from 37.6% in 2016 to 32.8% in 2017; and risen Austral...

Press Releases

National Energy Guarantee Update

The independent Energy Security Board has released a draft detailed design paper, Energy Security Board – Draft Detailed Design of the National Energy Guarantee: Consultation Paper, on the National Energy Guarantee.

Hanwha Q CELLS to showcase one-stop-shop solar solutions at Intersolar Europe 2018

Meeting the PV needs of Europe: Hanwha Q CELLS to showcase one-stop-shop solar solutions at Intersolar Europe.

blue’Log X Series, power plant controller, VCOM: meteocontrol to present future-oriented monitoring solutions

Augsburg, June 14, 2018 – At Intersolar 2018 in Munich, meteocontrol GmbH will demonstrate just how far the monitoring and control of photovoltaic systems and solar parks have come. In this work, the world’s leading provider of independent monitoring systems has added a wide range of new features and the innovative power plant controller blue’Log X-Control to its solution.

Wärtsilä leading along the path towards a 100% renewable energy future

The technology group Wärtsilä is leading the way to the power industry’s transformation towards a future that utilises 100 percent renewable energy. In announcing its vision for the energy market, Wärtsilä is making a call to action since the technologies required to achieve this vision are already available.

Markets & Policy

Featured

IHS Markit lowers 2018 outlook for world PV market to 105 GW

The market research company expects the Chinese market will decline by 15 GW this. Part of this slow-down, however, will be off-set by lower module prices and accelerated demand across markets with pent-up demand.

SolarPower Europe revises down global outlook for 2018… but only a bit

Despite recent developments in China, the European solar association believes global newly installed PV capacity this year will reach 102 GW, only 5 GW lower than its previous guidance.

BNEF expects 34% fall in PV module prices in 2018

The analyst is expecting carnage throughout the solar value chain as the result of reduced policy support for deployment in China.

“New wave” of PPAs breaks, Flow Power signs Kiamal Solar Farm offtake agreement

Commercial electricity retailer Flow Power has signed an offtake deal through to 2030 for a quarter of the production from the Kiamal Solar Farm, in Victoria. Total Eren – developer of the $90 million, 200 MW project – has now signed three bilateral PPAs with offtakers – pointing the way for project developers as large-scale solar’s competiveness continues to grow.

China: 2018 installations could drop by more than a third

On Friday, three Chinese government ministries issued a joint “2018 Solar PV Power Generation Notice.” Its impact has been hotly debated since, with two key conclusions: the largest market segment – utility-scale PV – will take a pounding and not come close to last year’s record installation figure of just under 34 GW; and the expanding distributed generation market segment, which rose 360% from 2016 to 2017, will also be severely impacted by a 10 GW cap on new projects.

California generates more power from solar than gas in May

During May utility-scale solar provided 17% of generation on California’s grid, outpacing gas for the first time on a monthly basis.

Installations

Featured

Arizona delivers solar at half price of existing coal generation

Arizona’s largest power user has approved a 20-year power contract with a 30 MW solar project at US$2.49¢/kWh (AUD3.27c/kWh), the lowest price for a public solar power contract to date. The deal also involves shutting down a coal plant.

64 MW Warwick project helps UQ go 100% renewable

The University of Queensland (UQ) will offset 100% of its electricity needs with renewables by 2020. The milestone will be achieved through existing rootop PV arrays, and a freshly approved 64 MW solar farm near Warwick, in the state’s Southern Downs region.

Mars Australia to go 100% solar by 2020

On the back of a 20 year power-purchase agreement with Total Eren, the global confectionary giant has taken 100% renewable energy pledge for its six Australian factories.

Bungala Solar Project starts generating to grid

A 45 MW portion of the Bungala solar farm has begun feeding electricity into the grid. The entire first phase of the project – a 137.7 MW PV plant – is expected to be completed in a few months.

CEC: Clean energy industry sees banner year in 2017, major breakthrough to come in next two years

With an unprecedented rollout of rooftop solar reaching 1.1 GW and around 700 MW of large-scale renewable energy projects completed and connected to the grid, last year was an important turning point for Australia’s clean energy industry, shows the Clean Energy Council in its latest report. However, seven times bigger capacity of utility-scale projects with financial support or under construction at the year’s end is poised to eclipse 2017.

NSW: Wellington solar+storage project gets regulatory nod

The 174 MW solar farm coupled with a 100 MWh energy storage facility near Wellington has received a green light from the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment. The project proposal came from First Solar.

Technology

Featured

Accolades flow as UNSW’s Green awarded Global Energy Prize

Pioneering UNSW solar researcher Martin Green has received wide recognition for his achievement as being selected as one of the winners of 2018 Global Energy Prize. The prize means Green will split $820,000 in prize money with the co-winner, to go towards his research and teaching, and resulted in a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Long Read: UNSW’s Martin Green sets out solar’s accelerating technological development

Martin Green and his UNSW collaborators have driven a wide range of innovations within the Chinese and global PV manufacturing sector. Green, a Scientia Professor at UNSW and the Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics shares his take on PV technology in 2018.

EU startups focus on software for solar integration and operation

The 2018 Ecosummit Berlin, a EU cleantech startup platform, focussed on smart green energy and mobility. Of the 99 speakers, 69 were startups presenting innovative solutions to a changing energy economy, catering to the needs of end-customers, developers and utilities alike.

Tandem PV cells present potential for residential applications, MIT scientists say

Four different thin film solar PV technologies were tested by the MIT experts across three types of environment in the U.S.: Arid (Arizona); temperate (South Dakota); and humid (Florida). The research found that despite high costs, tandem cells may become viable in rooftop applications.

ARENA study to bring blockchain energy trading to dairy farmers

Through a study funded by ARENA, the distributed database platform blockchain will be used by Latrobe Valley dairy farmers to buy and sell locally generated renewable energy.

Power Ledger: “Japan is a really good market”

Blockchain-enabled peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading will be trialed by Japanese utility KEPCO, under a new agreement with Power Ledger announced this week. Meagan Cojocar, an analyst with the Perth-based company says Japan is the ideal location for the Power Ledger as the country’s energy drive self sufficiently and its “crypto friendly” attitude.

Manufacturing

Featured

First Solar breaks ground on 1.2 GW factory in the U.S.

The plant is the second-largest planned in the Western Hemisphere, and will triple the thin film module maker’s manufacturing capacity in the United States.

China PV slowdown could prompt deep module price falls in Q3

New policies affecting all solar market segments in China are likely to lead to production overcapacity in the second half of 2018. The new regulations, announced June 1, will likely see the Chinese market decline from an expected 40-45 GW to 30-35 GW for the year, analysts report.

Hyundai Heavy Industries returns to Australian solar market

On the back of a $70 million distribution agreement, Hyundai Heavy Industries Green Energy is re-entering Australia’s solar market, eyeing a strong pipeline of opportunities.

Sungrow announces residential storage market entry in Australia

Sungrow is best known for its PV inverter range – which covers the residential, C&I and power plant market segments. The Chinese inverter maker has hopes to see it gain increased traction in Australia by broadening its product portfolio in the country.

Nextracker to supply trackers for 634 MW of First Solar projects

The tracker maker will also supply a new type of racking for the roll out of First Solar’s large-format Series 6 modules.

ABB showcases high powered string inverters for utility scale and C&I

Global infrastructure giant ABB is showcasing its PVS-120 sting inverters. The company claims that high power density can deliver Opex and Capex reductions for developers and EPCs.

Energy Storage

Featured

Yorke Peninsula power supply strengthened with microgrid, 30 MW battery

ABB, ElectraNet and ARENA are coming together to deliver a microgrid and large scale battery storage solution to South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. The commercial-deployment phase of the Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project will strengthen the Electranet transmission system in the area, and will deliver increased resilience in the event of interstate connector failure.

Remote communities to light up with 5.6 MW of PV through SETuP

The second stage of the SETuP project is rolling out Solar PV to communities in the Northern Territory, with the project set to be completed by November 2018.

Snowy Hydro wants to procure 800 MW of solar, wind

Australia’s energy utility Snowy Hydro has invited potential energy suppliers to submit their proposals with the aim to contract up to 400 MW of wind and 400 MW of solar generation.

Lyon partners with Fluence, JERA to develop large solar+battery projects

Looking to pursue utility-scale battery storage opportunities in Asia Pacific markets, the Australian renewable energy developer, the US-German joint venture and the Japanese joint venture have entered into a collaboration agreement, under which their first task will be to develop three integrated solar and storage projects in Australia, including what would be by far the world’s biggest battery.

Partners Group, CWP Renewables come together for 1.3 GW renewables platform

The Swiss investment manager and the Australian renewable energy developer stand ready to deliver a total of over 1.3 GW of solar, wind and battery projects across New South Wales within the next four years.

SMA launching new multi string battery inverter

SMA says its new product will offer digital services such as monitoring and automatic notifications to perform maintenance as well as offering an emergency supply system. According to analysts, the varied applications of new inverters signal an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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