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Turning the Top End toward hydrogen production

The Northern Territory is an energy powerhouse, pulsing with oil and gas expertise, LNG processing plants and a burgeoning solar scene. The government’s new Renewable Hydrogen Strategy seeks to leverage such skill sets and infrastructure towards a green-hydrogen industry and net-zero emissions by 2050...
Installations

REZzing up the renewable future of NSW

A couple of years ago NSW was pilloried as the laggard state in Australia's renewable energy transition. Today it is the only state to have acted on the concentrated benefits of renewable energy zones as outlined in AEMO's Integrated System Plan. Matt Ke...
Manufacturing

Long read: Shadow boxing

The amount of non-uniform shading an array will experience determines the technology choices that can be made. However, it can be complicated to formulate more general rules for when to use what type of technology. Most would agree that module-level powe...
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Covid-19

Up to 50% rooftop segment decline likely

While the solar industry has shown great resilience in the face of Covid-19 shutdown, installations are set to decline sharply over the next year. While the residential segment looks set to bounce back, the small-commercial segment will be slow to recove...
Energy Storage

NT sets net-zero climate target, joining other states and territories in ‘de facto national net-zero target’

The Northern Territory Government has released its Climate Change Response, a directive officially adopting a 2050 net-zero emissions target and 50% renewable energy by 2030 target. The Climate Council has welcomed the response, saying that the NT now jo...
Installations

Western Power delivers first community SPS

The Nowanup property is a keystone in south-west Western Australia's biodiversity regeneration, and now, with the installation of a stand-alone power system (SPS) from Western Power, the spur of the line property is no longer subject to routine outages f...
Covid-19

AEMC gives energy businesses extra three months breathing space before major market reform

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has decided to give energy businesses an extra three months to prepare the IT overhaul necessary for the five-minute settlement market reform. The decision comes in response to concerns that the unprecedente...
Manufacturing

Q Cells commits to three-year, €125m German R&D spend

The Korean company has committed to invest in solar innovation in Germany at a time when the EU and member states are desperately trying to kick-start the Covid-19 recovery.
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Press Releases

Electric power industry needs urgent transformation, Huawei’s new ICT empowers smart grids

Today marked the Seventh Huawei Global Power Summit themed "Bits Drive Watts, Building a Fully Connected Smart Grid". Held online, the summit invited global customers, partners, industry experts, and thought leaders in the electric power industry to discuss the impact and response to this year's pandemic, and political and economic uncertainties.

Renewable energy transition in New South Wales needs to gather pace significantly

Research from Cornwall Insight Australia highlights that the energy transition in New South Wales (NSW) over the next decade will need to gather pace significantly.

VivoPower International PLC announces contract to complete electrical works for 39 MWdc Molong Solar Farm

VivoPower International PLC (Nasdaq: VVPR) (“VivoPower”), an international solar and critical power services company, is pleased to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary in Australia, J. A.

City powers up with electric vehicles

The City has introduced six fully electric vehicles to the Council fleet in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

A closer look at hydrogen infrastructure

Momentum is building for a new era of the hydrogen economy. Green hydrogen production is decreasing in cost, as greater levels of renewables are being integrated into the grid, and countries are developing hydrogen plans. Shayne Willette from Navigant sets out how, as a result, hydrogen is increasingly recognized as a potentially significant contributor to the decarbonization of the energy sector.

Record shipments push global solar PV inverter market past $9 billion in 2019

The PV inverter market achieved record shipments in 2019, writes IHS Markit’s Miguel de Jesus, driven by booming shipments in key markets such as the United States, Spain, Latin America, Ukraine and Vietnam. Revenue rose rapidly, surpassing the $9 billion mark in 2019 for the first time.

Looking gloomy at Oakey 2 Solar Farm again?

Yesterday I received a call from the people at pv magazine who were preparing for the ‘Virtual Roundtables Europe 2020’ event on this week in Germany – i.e. Tuesday evening (now!) and Wednesday evening ‘NEM time’. I’m told the event will be recorded, with the recording available later to those who have registered, so get your skates on if interested.

Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

IEEFA Australia: Investing in CCS and relying on voluntary action on emissions is revisiting the olden days

The government’s Climate Solutions Fund offers little hope for financial-industry backers of a Paris aligned economic recovery writes Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies with IEEFA Australasia

Renewables to drive a clean recovery from Covid-19

While covid-19 will cause a lot of short-term pain, it presents us with a unique opportunity to accelerate the clean energy transition.

Covid-19

Featured

QLD attracts United Green “majority” stake investment in Rodds Bay Solar Farm despite “wet blanket” federal policy

A "majority" stake of the 300 MW shovel-ready Rodds Bay Solar Farm in Queensland has been purchased by UK investment firm United Green. The announcement comes as state government energy ministers come together to reinforce their renewable energy ambitions in this time of economic recovery, despite "the difficulty" of the federal policy vacuum.

Clear strategy at state level boosts investor confidence

The Clean Energy Council’s latest “Clean Energy Outlook – Confidence Index” shows growing investor confidence nationwide despite the continuance of federal policy ambiguity and the economic impact of Covid-19. Investors and executives singled out NSW in particular as being among the most attractive states for renewable investment thanks to its positive statements and clear strategy.

“Australia’s last chance”: BZE publishes renewables powered Million Jobs Report

Every crisis is a crossroads, and Australia is certainly at a crossroads. This week, a host of climate, development and investment leaders are backing Beyond Zero Emission’s green scaffolded Million Jobs Plan of Covid-19 economic recovery.

SA Water’s solar splash undaunted by Covid-19, proposes more solar

Despite unprecedented economy-wide impacts brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, SA Water’s planned $300 million solar and energy splash in 2020 has managed to stay on track. Not only do the utility’s ambitions for a zero energy cost future remain within reach, but the utility is already planning more solar.

Epho to construct Canberra’s first community solar farm

Canberra’s first community solar farm, the Majura Valley Community Solar Farm, is a step closer to reality after Epho signed on to design and construct the farm. The solar farm is the development project of SolarShare, a group of local community investors.

NSW Government fast-tracks 60MW Yanco Solar Farm

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement of the third tranche of projects to have fast-tracked assessments as part of the state’s effort to boost the economy in response to the impact of Covid-19 includes the program’s first large-scale solar farm, the 72MW(DC)/60MW(AC) Yanco Solar Farm.

Markets & Policy

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New research warns of significant gap to be bridged from NSW’s retiring coal

New research from Cornwall Insight Australia suggests that the transition to renewable energies in New South Wales needs to pick up the pace quick-smart if it is going to cover the soon-to-be-revealed gap made by retiring coal generators. 

No task too tough, Epho to airlift solar panels onto Woolworths headquarters

Woolworths is looking to further reduce its emissions by installing a 572 kW solar system atop its massive
Norwest Support Office in Bella Vista. However, the unique circumstances of the facility mean that solar developer Epho Commercial Solar is going to airlift the panels and system components onto the rooftop with a helicopter.

Defence Force to secure headquarters with solar array

The Australian Defence Force is set to install a 1.9MW solar array at its Headquarters of Joint Operations Command outside Canberra. The General John Baker Complex is being expanded to cater to the growing needs of cyber and space operations and as such requires the energy resilience provided by solar PV.

Deakin University set to steward new energy storage Research Hub

A New Safe and Reliable Energy Storage and Conversion Technologies Research Hub is one of five grant recipients of the Australian Research Council’s funding for Industrial Transformation. The Hub will seek to develop new technologies in energy storage to eliminate the risk of fire, as well as addressing the environmental impact of current technologies. 

Western Power launches 100MW Industry Challenge

Western Australia is pioneering new strategies to manage its burgeoning rooftop-top solar resource. Next stop on its DER Roadmap? Engaging commercial and industrial energy users/producers in rewarding strategies for balancing generation and demand.

Solar households can soon be charged for their exports

In its annual State of the Energy Market report, the Australian Energy Market Regulator has suggested that solar households should be asked to pay a network fee to be allowed to export energy to the grid.

Installations

Featured

Wind, solar and transmission: triple rollout begins in NW Tasmania

The Commonwealth Government has OK'd the first phase of 600-1000 MW worth of developments that will feed into Tasmania's 200% renewables by 2040 target; as well as the Marinus Link project; and the state's ambitions to attract high-energy industries to its shores.

Limondale solar farm registered in West Murray

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has announced a major step forward in the West Murray Zone after it granted registration to the biggest solar farm in that troubled part of the grid.

Ikea invests more in solar by the day

The Swedish furniture giant has said it will turn one of its Australian superstores into its first 100% renewables-powered solar+storage retail project. Australia is also home to the company’s first expansion of its retail solar offering, Solstråle.

City of Sydney flicks the switch to 100% green power

From today, the City of Sydney will run entirely on renewable energy generated from wind and solar farms in regional NSW.

City of Adelaide switches to 100% renewable electricity

From today, Adelaide’s council-owned properties will be run entirely on renewable energy as part of a power purchase agreement inked with Flow Power.

Solar exceeds all expectations in NSW coal-country

The City of Newcastle, home to the world’s busiest coal harbour, has seen its 5 MW solar farm generate double its projected revenue in the first six months of operation. The profits are a resounding endorsement and vindication of the Council’s audacious 100% renewable generation achievement.

Technology

Featured

Throw another prawn on the battery

Scientists led by MIT have suggested chitin, a carbon and nitrogen-rich material made from waste shrimp shells, could produce sustainable electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy storage technologies.

Australia’s metal gurus engineer two energy-storage breakthroughs

Energy storage is in high demand, to help manage a growing proportion of renewable energy in global electricity grids, to free off-grid communities from the tyranny of diesel, and to enable the aspirations of people not yet connected to a power supply. These two promising technologies have reached important milestones…

AZZO to take on America

Adelaide-based renewable and microgrid energy solutions firm AZZO is taking advantage of its strong Australian root system to expand into the U.S. market. 

What’s going on in the world of thermal energy storage?

Can this technology be commercialized? A partnership between Siemens Energy and EnergyNest to develop thermal storage solutions together is the latest development in an industry with lots of potential, but little practical application thus far.

UNSW and Providence Asset Group form hydrogen research to market partnership

The University of New South Wales Sydney and Providence Asset Group are teaming up to form the Hydrogen Energy Research Centre, a university-to-industry institute toward the translation of hydrogen research into commercial production as Australia looks to become a world leader in hydrogen exports.

Hydrogen vehicles: Elvin Group to crack the chicken-and-egg scenario

Why did the chicken cross the road? It wanted to get to an electrolyser and close the loop on a persistent dilemma: what comes first — a critical mass of hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles, or the infrastructure of hydrogen production and refuelling opportunities that will see those vehicles confidently hit the tar?

Manufacturing

Featured

Made in China HJT coming to Aussie rooftops

Risen Australia and distributer One Stop Warehouse signed an expanded 150 MW distribution agreement last week, marking the Chinese module maker’s attempt to further expand its share of the rooftop market segment. With Risen’s new heterojunction (HJT) module, the 415-435 W Sieger, moving into mass production, One Stop Warehouse’s Leo Ye says that the “new, fresh” technology will be a welcome addition to the Australian rooftop market segment.

Canadian Solar joins the 500 W-plus panel club

The Chinese-Canadian company has unveiled a range of high-power modules which are set to go into mass production by early next year. The series includes a commercial and industrial rooftop-dedicated product offering a reported 405 W.

Self-cleaning PV system with active cooling tech

An international research group has developed a self-cooling PV system featuring a 250 W 60-cell polycrystalline module and a thermal collector attached to the back side of the panel. The cleaning tech is based on a microcontroller programmable integrated circuit, which controls a rotating DC motor.

PV module prices are falling faster than all predictions

New research from Wood Mackenzie shows that overall system costs for installations using mono PERC modules are set to fall by as much as 20% by 2025.

CER reports significant decline in potentially unsafe PV systems

A very small number of PV systems installed on Australian rooftops are considered to be potentially unsafe, the Clean Energy Regulator’s new report finds. Water entering DC isolators is identified as the greatest risk and the most common cause of PV system failures.

Premature inverter failure – 4.2 GW of capacity will be affected this year, says analyst

U.S.-owned business intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie has attempted to evaluate the market opportunities offered by the repowering of solar projects around the world which feature inverters which are 10 years old – as well as those which will expire ahead of time.

Energy Storage

Featured

Natron Energy, developer of sodium-ion batteries, raises USD35M as investment in storage surges

The startup is building a battery using Prussian blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte. Investors include ABB Technology Ventures, NanoDimension Capital, Volta Energy Technologies, Chevron, Khosla Ventures, and Prelude Ventures.

Study recommends developing ‘made-in-WA batteries’

A key lithium-ion battery cathode material could be produced in Western Australia, a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) feasibility study has found. The study, released by the WA state government today, investigated whether superior nickel-rich nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) can be produced cost effectively and sustainably in the state in which nine of the ten mineral elements required for lithium-ion battery cells are present.

Bidding war continues as Infigen backs Iberdrola’s revised offer

Infigen Energy on Tuesday recommended a revised offer from Iberdrola to its shareholders, after the Spanish renewable energy giant waived conditions of its takeover bid.

Investment in big batteries in Australia doubles

While investor appetite for large-scale battery storage is rapidly growing, market arrangements need to be amended to streamline the integration and operation of big batteries on the National Electricity Market, finds an analysis by the Clean Energy Council.

WA community battery rollout continues: Tesla battery launched in Port Kennedy

The Western Australia government has installed the state’s sixth grid-connected community PowerBank battery, taking the total number of shared battery storage systems on the Western Power network to 13.

Expanded Tesla big battery charges up for final testing

French renewables developer Neoen has announced that final testing of the expanded 150 MW Hornsdale Power Reserve has kicked off. If the tests run smoothly, the extra power will be available to the market within weeks.

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