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Brookfield buys Origin, plans to build a fifth of Australia’s renewable needs by 2030

Origin Energy has reached a $18.7 billion (USD 12.5 billion) takeover deal with a consortium led by Canadian giant Brookfield. Brookfield’s vision for Origin involves spending “at least” $20 billion to build new renewables and storage, using Origin and its customer base as a vehicle for transition.

Rooftop solar hit new record this summer

Household's rooftop solar supplied a record 14% of Australia’s electricity this summer – contributing more than brown coal, and more than large-scale wind or solar farms.

German manufacturer achieves 80% overall efficiency with new PVT solar module

Sunmaxx says Fraunhofer ISE has confirmed the 80% efficiency of its new photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) module. It consists of 108 PERC half-cells in M10 format, with 400 W of electrical output and 1,200 W of thermal output.

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Cenários para expansão da geração centralizada

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The power behind Pakistan’s “under the radar” gigawatt-scale market

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Transparent advantage – Why transparent backsheet bifacial modules can beat out the cumbersome competition

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New tracker design: Multiple motors to tackle multiple challenges

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Energy Storage

Silicon anode lithium-ion battery cell with 500 Wh/kg density

Amprius has obtained third-party performance verification for a battery cell that offers high power density in a lightweight package.
Markets & Policy

Greens claims Safeguard deal delivers ‘huge hit’ for new coal and gas

The Greens and Labor have reached a deal over the proposed Safeguard Mechanism amendments with the scheme to now include a “hard cap” on emissions and a "safeguard trigger" for ministerial intervention.
Energy Storage

Sparc reports ‘exceptional’ results in sodium-ion battery project

Australian battery technology innovator Sparc Technologies is reporting “exceptional” results in its campaign to develop sustainably sourced hard carbon material for the production of anodes for the nascent sodium-ion battery market.

CS Energy formalises plans for Queensland green hydrogen project

The Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant, which is expected to produce approximately 75 tonnes of green hydrogen annually from behind-the-meter solar energy, is nearing reality after CS Energy formalised its joint venture arrangements with ASX-li...

Viability of ‘direct’ green hydrogen fuel production evaluated by US researchers

Rather than using solar or wind to power electrolysis, researchers are testing the competitiveness of photoelectrochemical cells to produce emissions-free hydrogen fuels.

Press Releases

PowerPlus Energy selects SwitchDin to deliver battery fleet management capabilities

Australian energy software company SwitchDin has been selected by battery manufacturer PowerPlus Energy to provide connectivity and control of its energy storage systems through its Stormcloud orchestration platform and a co-branded digital interface for end users.

dpSun partnering with PNOC RC in the Philippines

dpSun, a leading solar energy R&D company, has recently participated in an Energy Catalyst brokerage trip to the Philippines alongside other innovative companies. During the trip, dpSun's Managing Director, Sergio Cardamas, met with Pedro Lite from PNOC RC, one of the largest energy companies in the Philippines, and both parties agreed to collaborate on the deployment of a solar energy project aimed at providing stability to the grid.

SwitchDin Appoints Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer

SwitchDin has bolstered its executive team with the appointment of a Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer.

Discussing all things transition at Enlit Australia 2023

On March 22 and 23, Enlit Australia will be hosting their 2023 Leadership Summit and Exhibition at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Enlit will bring together the best thought leaders, disruptors, and innovators from Australia’s energy sector to have tricky yet practical conversations about Australia’s energy transition.

Opinion & Analysis


Researchers investigate impact of charging EVs on power grid under strain

With the roll out of electric vehicles in Australia accelerating, a team of researchers from the University of Queensland explore what the impact is of charging them on a power grid under strain.

Why capacity factor is an increasingly simplistic way to compare solar farm performance

Capacity factor is often discussed when evaluating and comparing the efficiency and performance of solar farms. However, looking just at this metric can be misleading as it ignores many underlying technical and commercial factors, as solar farm specifications almost never align for a simple apples-to-apples comparison.

Shifting behaviour to enable a renewable future

The Australian energy grid is on the cusp of a big bang moment. The combination of market factors and situations we’re currently seeing will lead to a thrust of innovation. Renewable energy and smart devices are here to push forward the way we consume energy and drive a change for the better of our energy bills and for the environment.

The politics of an unsettled energy transition

University of Sydney researchers Sophie Webber and Gareth Bryant highlight the key challenges of land, labour and finance in achieving a renewable energy transition in Australia.

Solar power can cut living costs, but it’s not an option for many people – they need better support

As the cost of living soars, many Australian households are turning to rooftop solar to cut their energy costs. A Pulse of the Nation survey last month showed about 29% of Australians have installed or are considering installing solar panels on their homes. The same survey shows one in five Australians can’t afford to adequately heat or cool their homes.

Diversity is power

The gap between men and women working in the energy sector today is stark, but the issue is finally emerging as an international priority. GridBeyond’s Sales Director for Australia, Lisa Balk, shares her experience and solutions ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.



Freight costs edge toward 4% of solar module costs, near pre-pandemic levels

Freight costs fell for the 39th straight week to account for roughly 4% of solar module costs – close to pre-pandemic levels. PV consultant Asier Ukar tells pv magazine that this trend will likely continue over the short term.

Forced labour concerns prompt U.S. ports to block over 1,000 shipments of solar components

Panel shipments collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars are blocked from entering the United States market as they have failed scrutiny under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, said Reuters.

Elevated shipping costs to remain challenge for solar sector

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.

‘Falling solar module costs are behind us’

Canadian Solar is pivoting towards energy storage and is preparing to IPO its manufacturing and Chinese solar project activity in China, under the CSI Solar operation, by July.

What can President-Elect Biden get done on energy in his first 100 days?

Biden has made a long list of promises and commitments to the environment and future of clean energy if elected. Which of these promises could we see immediate action on and which are years down the line?

VIC solar industry braces for post-lockdown release of pent-up demand

As Victorians fly out of lockdown and into the thick of summer the solar industry is preparing for the release of pent-up demand for solar which was hungered for during lockdown but went unsatisfied. pv magazine Australia sat down with AC Solar Warehouse’s Grant Behrendorff to gauge the backlog of installations and talk shop in the approach to a bumper summer.

Markets & Policy

Solar curtailment vs. storage

Swiss researchers have looked at whether storage could be cheaper than curtailment in medium-voltage distribution networks with significant amounts of PV capacity. They considered storage costs, operational costs, grid constraints, electricity costs, PV generation models, and loads.

Weekend read: As simple as IBC

The search for ever higher conversion efficiency has driven solar researchers to focus on back-contact cell approaches, and efforts to devise more cost-effective manufacturing are bringing technologies such as interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar into the mainstream, as Mark Hutchins reports.

MPower teams with Ampyr to accelerate mid-scale solar strategy

Australian renewable energy developer MPower plans to step up its activities after establishing a funding relationship with international investment firm Singapore outfit Ampyr Energy that will help finance the growth of its portfolio of mid-scale solar power and battery energy storage projects.

Australia urged to move quickly to make most of booming battery sector

Australia has been warned it must act swiftly to capture the economic and strategic opportunities of a booming battery industries sector that is predicted could provide $55.2 billion (USD 36.87 billion) in additional gross domestic product to the economy by the end of the decade.

New global solar capacity additions hit 191 GW in 2022, says IRENA

Global renewable capacity increased by 295 GW last year, bringing the world to a cumulative installed capacity of 3,372 GW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Strong interest in hydrogen certification, Bureau Veritas reports

Bureau Veritas tells pv magazine that there is a great deal of interest in hydrogen certification schemes in Australia, Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.



Global study highlights potential of floating solar

An international group of researchers has calculated the potential for floating solar across the world. The results show a generation potential of 9,434 TWh per year across 114,555 global reservoirs, with 30% of their area covered. The United States leads with 1,911 TWh per year of potential, with Australia coming in 8th, with 210 TWh per year.

Detailed customer energy data is becoming available, here’s what the government scheme could do for industry

Access to extremely detailed consumer energy data is becoming available in Australia part of the federal government’s Consumer Data Right scheme. Used imaginatively, the data has the potential to improve how investment decisions are made, and could even open up new approaches to energy retailing, Stuart Low, founder of Biza tells pv magazine Australia.

Developer X-Elio sells to Brookfield extending fund’s position in Australia

Canadian investment giant Brookfield will acquire the remaining 50% stake in Spain-based renewables developer X-Elio from its joint venture partner, investment firm KKR. X-Elio has more than 500 MW of projects in development in Australia and the move from Brookfield, which is also currently looking to takeover Origin Energy, a major Australian “gentailer,” extends the ambitious company’s hold in Australia.

India exempts some solar projects from domestic content requirements

India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has exempted solar projects from domestic content requirements if they are commissioned by March 31, 2024. The move provides developers with the flexibility to source modules at more cost-competitive rates, according to Indian ratings agency ICRA.

Investment ‘boom’ in Australia sees utility-scale jump 50%, puts targets within reach

New investment in solar and wind hit a record 7.1 GW in Australia in 2022, with the Clean Energy Regulator reporting a 50% increase in large-scale projects reaching final investment decision compared to 2021. In total, 5.3 GW of new renewable energy capacity was added to the grid in 2022, according to the Regulator’s State of Renewables report.

German outfit brings own solar panel brand to Australia

German startup 1Komma5 has started production on its own solar modules, which are expected to hit Australian shores “imminently,” Chris Williams, CEO of its APAC arm, told pv magazine Australia. The company has just signed a polysilicon contract with fellow German company Wacker, a step towards addressing issues around unethical labour and embedded emissions in solar’s supply chain.



PV Expo 2023: Japanese solar’s struggle for space

PV Expo and the wider Smart Energy Week wrapped up in Tokyo last week. It revealed ambitious plans for solar and energy storage installations in Japan, including creative approaches to dealing with a severe lack of space for new installations, which should bring plenty of opportunities for domestic and international players.

Queensland’s publicly-owned battery rollout sees next town selected for 8 MWh install

Queensland is continuing its rollout of publicly-owned batteries, announcing the town of Emerald in its Central Highlands Region will soon host a 4 MW / 8 MWh battery. While the announcement doesn’t make reference to buzz term ‘community batteries,’ it seems the state is effectively rolling out a storage fleet to deliver on the promises of the concept.

Relectrify gets global green light for battery tech

Australian battery technology startup Relectrify has been given the tick of approval by the International Electrotechnical Commission for its ReVolve energy storage product, opening the way for the company to scale up the global rollout of its cell-level control technology.

Iberdrola using dogs, robots to monitor solar plants

Iberdrola is using a springer spaniel in a solar park to smell electrical problems that could lead to power cuts. It is also using a robotic dog to detect and analyse faults in substations.

Kinaltek announces nanosilicon tech will help build better batteries

Australian materials technology developer Kinaltek has unveiled a one-step production process that it says can convert common silica powders into battery-grade nanosilicon for less than 5% of the cost of existing technologies, paving the way for the use of silicon nanoparticles in high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

Weekend read: Get what you pay for

Clean Energy Associates (CEA) has calculated the price premium that solar developers will swallow in return for the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) savings offered by the latest generation of high-efficiency PV panels.



Reshoring of US solar manufacturing

The Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) latest white paper on solar and storage manufacturing includes an interactive map. It shows that momentum has started to build for a transformational expansion of domestic solar and storage manufacturing.

Victorian battery manufacturer to ramp up growth plans after PPK buys in

Australian battery designer and manufacturer PowerPlus Energy will look to accelerate its growth plans after technology investment company PPK Group announced plans to acquire a large stake in the company.

Solmax unveils reflective membrane to increase power yield in bifacial PV projects

Canada-headquartered Solmax will seek to build its presence in the Australian utility scale solar sector having developed a reflective membrane which it claims can increase the energy yield of a bifacial PV project by between 5% and 20%, depending on the plant configuration.

Longi reveals plans to open 5 GW solar module factory in US market

Chinese manufacturer Longi Solar is working with PV developer Invenergy to build a 5 GW per year solar module manufacturing facility in the US state of Ohio.

GoodWe releases 375 W BIPV panels with 17.4% efficiency

GoodWe will initially sell its new 375 W building-integrated PV (BIPV) modules in Australia and Europe. They measure 2,319 mm × 777 mm × 4 mm and weigh 11 kg.

EU solar manufacturers’ ESG credentials could bolster revival

With calls for a revival in European PV manufacturing becoming more urgent, the Environmental, Social, and Governance credentials of its PV producers are being touted as a way in which manufacturing can be supported or even protected. The case for the ESG credentials of European manufacturing was advanced by multiple speakers at the 2023 SolarPower Summit this week in Brussels.

Energy Storage


NZ to progress 8.5 TWh pumped hydro project

The New Zealand government will further investigate the viability of establishing a pumped hydroelectric facility on the South Island that would provide up to 8.5 TWh of annual generation and storage capacity to support the nation’s transition to 100% renewable electricity generation.

WA utility unveils plans for 800 MWh big battery

As Synergy prepares to switch on its first big battery, the state-owned utility has revealed it plans to build a new 200 MW/800 MWh battery energy storage system at Kwinana to support the state’s main grid and enable the uptake of more renewables in Western Australia.

Australian manufacturer targets ‘world’s best battery’ follow IP portfolio purchase

Australian battery company Gelion Technologies has revealed its ambition to “build the world’s best battery” after acquiring an intellectual property portfolio of more than 450 lithium sulfur and silicon anode patents.

New plug-and-play mobile PV system

The “Solar Box” mobile power plant is a container consisting of solar modules, a battery storage system, and a hydrogen storage system. According to Austria’s Alternative Energy Projects (AEP), the system starts at 94 kW and can be scaled up to more than 5 MW.

ACEN marches ahead with 720 MW New England Solar Farm

The largest solar farm yet developed in New South Wales has been officially opened with clean energy company ACEN Australia confirming the 400 MW first stage of its planned 720 MW New England Solar Farm is now progressing through the commissioning process.

Sale of Sun Cable mega project attracts multiple bids

The sale of renewable energy developer Sun Cable, which is aiming to deliver the world’s biggest intercontinental solar and storage project in northern Australia, has received initial takeover offers from multiple investors, including prospective buyers that aren’t existing shareholders in the project.