Top News

Natural Solar, sonnen deploy blockchain in 12-home project

Installer Natural Solar is equipping 12 homes in Sydney with rooftop PV and sonnen batteries, and will utilize blockchain technology to facilitate P2P trading of electricity between households. The mini virtual power plant (VPP) project will allow the homes to reduce their electricity demand from the grid by 90%.
Markets & Policy

Global energy investment in 2017 moved away from energy security and sustainability goals, finds IEA

Following a strong year for clean energy spending, 2017 saw a 7% decline in renewable power investment – to around $298 billion – while the share of fossil fuels in energy supply funding rose for the first time since 2014, according to the Internatio...
Markets & Policy

Renewable energy brings California emissions below 1990 levels

The U.S. state’s latest report shows that it has beat its 2020 target for emissions reductions four years early, mostly thanks to more renewable energy.
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Markets & Policy

APVI: PV sails past 7 GW – 2017 installation record set to be smashed

The extent of the rapid growth underway in the Australian PV market has been laid out in the latest report by the APVI. Pointing to 2018 representing “another record year for Australian PV” the outstanding growth of the utility scale segment is a par...
Markets & Policy

Distributed solar saved California over US$650 million from 2013-2015

A new study finds that from 2013 through 2015, distributed PV reduced peak solar hour mean wholesale electricity prices by 8–9%, avoiding costs of US$650–730 million.
Manufacturing

Siemens receives major order for Vietnamese PV park

In what marks another major PV project announcement for Vietnam, the Germany-based company will supply equipment for a 258 MW PV system, and commission it upon its completion, scheduled for mid-2019.
Installations

Two major projects in NSW ready to commence construction

Construction works are expected to start soon on two utility-scale solar PV project in New South Wales with a combined capacity of more than 460 MW, as confirmed by German-based Belectric, which will handle the EPC and O&M duties on both sites.

Press Releases

Open Energy Networks Stakeholder Workshop Sydney – last few places left

Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) look forward to welcoming registrants to tomorrow's Open Energy Networks Stakeholder Workshop in Sydney on Thursday, 19 July.

Clean Energy Award finalists shine brightly during unprecedented year for industry

The world’s biggest battery, a ground-breaking greenhouse project to grow tomatoes in the desert and a solar schools challenge in Western Australia are among the finalists announced in the 2018 Clean Energy Council Awards.

Webinar Recording: Update on the NEG & Small-scale Solar

D-Day looms for the renewables industry.

National Energy Guarantee: Commonwealth Government and 
Energy Security Board Public Consultation

Following the release of the Commonwealth Governments and the Energy Security Boards draft Detailed Design Consultation Paper, on 15 June 2018, submissions have been published on the COAG Energy Council website.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Q4 could be a ‘hot market’ for solar contract negotiations following China’s changes – BNEF Q&A

In a Q&A with Bloomberg NEF (BNEF), two solar analysts tell pv magazine they see no PV module price rebound, continuing oversupply, and falling utilization rates. They expect Q4 could be a “hot market” for contract negotiations, while Chinese developers will start overseas construction earlier than planned for two key reasons.

Global solar investment drops due to low project costs, China policy change

While overall global investment in clean energy saw a decrease of just 1% YoY in the first half of 2018, solar’s share dropped 19% following changes to China’s PV policy and lower project costs, says Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). It forecasts this trend to continue throughout the year.

Nearly 2/3 of Americans support a solar mandate for new homes

A new poll by Morning Consult found surprisingly strong support for a California-style mandate across the political spectrum, although Liberals were more likely to favor the measure than Conservatives.

UK’s largest solar investor sets up shop in Victoria

Octopus, the largest investor in utility scale solar in the UK has established an office in Melbourne, saying the “fundamental shift from fossil fuels to renewables” in the “rapidly evolving [Australian] market is already underway.

Solar and battery hydrogen innovation hub to be built in Western Australia

Canadian-owned gas network operator ATCO is developing a micro grid at its Jandakot facility, which will use solar power to produce hydrogen fuel. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has committed $1.5 million to the project.

CEFC commits $35 million to smart meter technology

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has completed its first smart meter technology financing, backing the expansion of intelliHUB, a joint venture between private equity investment firm Pacific Equity Partners and smart meter manufacturer Landis+Gyr.

Installations

Featured

ACCC recommends abolishing SRES by 2021

In a wide ranging report released on Tuesday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended scrapping the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) – which provides a sizeable capital subsidy to small scale rooftop PV. The Smart Energy Council has criticised the proposal and called for the Federal Government to “rule out abolishing the SRES.”

More than 200,000 sub-100kW systems set to be installed in 2018

This year, more than 200,000 small-scale solar systems are set to be installed in Australia. The extraordinary expansion in rooftop solar deployment has been revealed in the latest figures from Green Energy Markets, which points to more than 1.4 GW of sub-100kW PV being added throughout the year.

Edge-of-grid farmers switch to solar and storage

Farms affected by power outages in the McKinlay Shire, north-western Queensland, can now go off grid – through a new solar+storage containerised solution from Germany’s Intech.

juwi on lookout to acquire utility-scale solar projects in Australia

The Australian arm of German project developer juwi is looking to acquire utility-scale solar PV projects in New South Wales and Victoria.

Solar projects in Latrobe Valley advancing Victoria’s PV plans

The Victorian state government is continuing to advance its solar agenda, with two programs in the Latrobe Valley targeting applications and job creation.

“Privately funded” 200 MW Solar River PV project gets development approval

A hugely-ambitious plan to develop a 200 MW PV array and 120 MWh battery system in South Australia has received development approval. The project developer, which is hosted by the University of Adelaide’s ThincLab accelerator, reports that the $450 million project is privately financed with a 60/40 merchant/PPA structure – a significant milestone for the market segment.

Technology

Australian blockchain software to track EV carbon offsets in Silicon Valley

Perth-based blockchain startup Power Ledger has announced its first carbon credit project as part of its partnership with Chicago-based startup Clean Energy Blockchain Network and in collaboration with California’s municipal utility Silicon Valley Power. The company’s platform will manage credits generated by the use of solar energy in electric vehicle charging.

CSIRO calls on Australians to contribute to its energy use research

The national science agency has issued a call for “citizen scientists“ to help it understand the way households consume, generate and interact with energy. The data will be collected by means of the new CSIRO Energise app.

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 week at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-7) in Hawaii.

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.

Manufacturing

Module prices continue to fall

The latest reports from analysts at PV InfoLink and EnergyTrend show prices continuing to fall, though at a slower rate than was seen immediately after China’s 31/5 announcements. High efficiency mono-PERC modules fell to around $0.32/W, while multicrystalline module prices hold steady between $0.26 and $0.29/W.

JA Solar secures $68 million loan for equipment at 1.5 GW Vietnam wafer fab

Chinese manufacturer, JA Solar has secured a long-term buyer credit loan facility worth US$68.4 million for the procurement of equipment for its 1.5 GW wafer facility in Vietnam.

SMA teams with Wilson Transformer Company, launches Australian central inverter solution

German inverter giant SMA has partnered with Melbourne’s Wilson Transformer Company (WTC) to develop a central inverter solution specifically for Australian utility scale projects. The new Power Skid will be assembled in Australia, with WTC providing the medium and low voltage switchgear – among other componentry.

The China effect: Decreasing PV utilization rates, serious oversupply and future strategies

Independent PV analyst, Corinne Lin discusses the fallout of China’s recent solar PV policy decision, including decreasing utilization rates and serious oversupply; and a focus on equipment upgrades, particularly for PERC, SE, half cut and bifiacial technologies. The industry will bounce back in 2019, she concludes.

TrendForce: Price war may begin due to overcapacity

The Taiwanese analysts expect that overcapacity will force some solar players to abandon their business or file for bankruptcy. IHS Markit also sees further price declines and consolidation in the third quarter, although it does forecast signs of a speedy recovery.

PVInsight reports strong price drop for monocrystalline products

The latest figures from the Taiwanese analysts show that prices for monocrystalline solar PV products have fallen sharply in a week-on-week comparison. The price drop for wafer was even stronger.

Energy Storage

Redflow supplies $1.6 million Fiji order with Thai-produced batteries

Brisbane-based redox-flow supplier Redflow has begun shipping batteries from its new Thai manufacturing facility to Fiji, under a $1.6 million telecommunications supply deal. The batteries will be deployed by New Zealand’s Hitech Solutions to power Fiji’s new digital television network over the next six months.

Distributed energy storage standards project launched

DNV GL, Deakin University, the CSIRO, and the Smart Energy Council have come together to collaborate on a two-year project to develop a new performance standard for distributed energy storage systems. The work behind the proposed Australian Battery Performance Standard is being funded $1.9 million from ARENA and the Victoria state government.

Panasonic mulls further investment in Tesla battery gigafactory as shortages loom

The suggestion of additional investments beyond the $1.6 billion follows reports of battery cell shortages as Tesla’s Model 3 picks up production. It is unknown what impacts this will have on Tesla’s stationary storage business.

Big storage goes metro: Tesla supplies 500 kWh to City of Sydney

The City of Sydney has installed the first large scale battery storage system to be located within the Sydney metropolitan are. Transgrid and the City collaborated on the project, which sees 500 kWh of batteries coupled with around 450 kWp of rooftop PV.

Reposit integrates smart home capability into platform

Canberra-based Reposit Power has introduced smart home automation to its solar, storage, monitoring and trading technology platform. The If This, Then That (IFTTT) web service that can switch on and off big electricity consumption devices like pool pumps and air conditioners, to maximise the utility of rooftop PV power.

Elon Musk’s unprecedented solar+storage vision for Puerto Rico moves forward

Puerto Rico is requesting ten 20 MW / 20 MWh batteries to be deployed strategically in the country’s power grid. The RFQ notes that sites should be upgradable to 40 MW / 160 MWh.

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