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Weekend Read: Mind the skills gap

Around 800,000 new workers will be required in Europe by 2025 for the battery industry alone and, more broadly, existing workers will need to be retrained as the continent’s industries transition away from fossil fuels. International competition for workers is becoming increasingly fierce. Where are these workers and the required skills supposed to come from?
Installations

Horizon Power presses go on Smart Connect Solar in Carnarvon

Horizon Power has introduced Smart Connect Solar in Carnarvon, Western Australia, to bolster grid stability and enable broader rooftop solar adoption. The program, set for state-wide expansion by 2024, promises enhanced energy management, consumer saving...
Energy Storage

QLD adds $210 million to battery industrial strategy

The Queensland government is adding a further $210 million in pursuit of establishing a battery production industry in the state. The sum brings the total committed to its Battery Industry Strategy to $570 million.
Announcements

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Energy Storage

GoodWe releases 60 kWh battery for commercial, industrial PV systems

GoodWe has developed a 60 kWh battery for commercial and industrial PV systems, featuring a compartment for its ET15-30kW inverter series.
Markets & Policy

Renewable energy industry guide for engagement with First Nations communities released

A collaboration between the Clean Energy Council, KPMG and the First Nations Clean Energy Network has produced Australia’s first national guide on meaningful engagement and benefit sharing with the country’s oldest custodians on renewable energy.
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Energy Storage

RMIT researchers invent water battery with large-scale grid potential

A global team of researchers and industry collaborators, led by RMIT University in Melbourne, have invented recyclable “water batteries” that potentially mitigate safety concerns for large-scale grid energy.
Technology

South Australian VPP project shortlisted for Premier’s Excellence Awards

South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas has announced the finalists for the 2023 Premier’s Excellence Awards. Amongst the finalists, the Department for Energy Mining South Australia has garnered recognition for its collaborative venture with Housing...
Energy Storage

Rystad Energy: big batteries to create tailwind for large scale solar

The accelerating deployment of large-scale energy storage is one factor behind the tailwinds forming for large scale solar. Rystad Energy senior analyst David Dixon said that with gigawatts of big batteries under construction, the flexible load will crea...

Press Releases

FCAI should formally withdraw exposed, misleading claims about Efficiency Standards

The Electric Vehicle Council is calling on the leaders of the Federal Chamber of Automative Industries to formally withdraw their now discredited claims about car price increases from their lobbying against New Vehicle Efficiency Standards.

PV Hardware Solutions unveils groundbreaking solar tracker suited to Australian conditions

PVH has unveiled AxoneDuo Infinity, its latest solar tracking solution designed to maximise energy generation and suit Australian conditions. The latest innovation is set to transform Australia’s solar efficiency by offering adaptability across unique Australian conditions, including diverse configurations and unique terrain requirements.

Herbert Smith Freehills advises Windlab on Australia’s largest clean energy offtake deal

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has advised 100% Australian-owned renewable energy company Windlab, on Australia’s largest clean energy deal with global mining group, Rio Tinto.

Hinen showcasing innovative solutions to drive sustainable energy development at Smart Energy 2024

Australia's geographic advantage, mild climate, and abundant resources make it ideal for solar energy. Renewables currently provide 38% of electricity, and the government has set an ambitious target of 82% by 2030.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Record-breaking native demand for Australia’s NEM and Victoria

Thursday, Feb. 22 marked another day in Australia's energy records, along the Eastern seaboard. The hot and sunny conditions led to notable maximums in energy demand and supply.

A cell maker’s survival guide

With solar production capacity expansion plans paused, bigger cell makers will weather the storm through a revised approach to new panel technologies. InfoLink’s Alan Tu says that low profits could also drive innovation and cost savings, pushing the industry to new heights.

‘Environmentally friendly’ nickel value proposition presents lifeline

Australian nickel producers have an advantage over low-cost rivals in that production in the country is considerably more environmentally friendly than in neighbouring Indonesia. Nickel miners in Australia are currently facing low prices and fierce competition. Rob Nathan from Australian Tenders argues that sustainable nickel will be vital for the energy transition and is worthy of governmental support.

A major blackout left 500,000 Victorian homes without power – but it shows our energy system is resilient

Half a million homes and businesses in Victoria were left without power late on Tuesday following a major power outage. While investigations are underway as to what worked well and what fell short of expectations, Roger Dargaville, the
director of the Monash Energy Institute at Monash University, says that the event demonstrated system strength.

Adopting decarbonisation levers to achieve net zero

With 2023, the hottest year on record, behind us, the COP28 global assembly addressing climate change took place in Dubai. Faced with a sobering reality that a proportion of the world’s net zero targets are progressing at a glacial pace, world leaders discussed how to accelerate our collective actions to mitigate climate change.

The path beyond 5 TW

With the COP28 climate summit in Dubai resulting in a pledge of at least 11 TW of renewables generation capacity by 2030, Bruce Douglas, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA), examines the outcomes of the conference and their likely impact on the solar industry.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Tidal wave of investment gives Queensland’s energy transition momentum

Independent Australian think tank Climate Energy Finance (CEF) finds public and private capital is rapidly transitioning Queensland from its dependence on coal and methane gas for electricity generation. The findings were published today in a new report.

BloombergNEF forecasts global solar installations to hit 574 GW in 2024

In updated figures, BloombergNEF finds that 444 GW of new PV capacity was installed globally in 2023. It says new installations could reach up to 574 GW this year, in its most optimistic forecast, 627 GW in 2025, and 880 GW in 2030.

Federal government joins WA in supporting nickel miners

The federal and WA governments are stepping in to support struggling nickel producers with tax credits, critical listing grants, and rebates. 

Action over rhetoric, calls to see PM’s ambition followed with funding

Anthony Albanese’s plan to fund Australia’s quest to become a renewable energy superpower and position itself as a global player for decarbonisation and clean energy doesn’t move fast or bold enough, according to industry experts.

Renewed focus on electricity network for reliability, climate objectives

As Victorian homeowners call for better grid infrastructure after outages left thousands without power this week, new data from research company Rystad Energy suggests the whole world’s transmission network may be a stumbling block to energy transition.

Priorities elsewhere: Qcells exits Australian market

Korean solar module maker Qcells informed its local team this week that its Australian subsidiary will be closed. The decision reflects on the highly competitive Australian solar marketplace and the company’s strategic decision to focus on the United States, Europe, and its home market of Korea.

Installations

Featured

Rooftop solar capacity to outpace all other renewables combined

A new Green Energy Markets (GEM) report to AEMO confirms the future domination of Australian roof-top solar panel and battery system installations are projected to have a cumulative solar capacity potential of between 66 GW and 98.5 GW by 2054.

Raising consumer confidence critical to energy transition, finds EY report

Energy providers, government and the broader energy ecosystem must raise up the access, appeal and affordability of clean energy in the United States, to help accelerate the uptake of clean energy.

Weekend Read: PV goes portable

Portable solar generators are making their way from the fringes of solar and energy storage to become a mainstream consumer item. The rise has been charged by a range of factors that have created massive brands. Where did the sector emerge from, who was buying before, who is buying now, and what’s next? Tristan Rayner reports.

Philippines gives green light to 65 MW of solar

The Philippines Board of Investments (BOI) has granted a green lane certificate to a 65 MW ground-mount solar power plant, set to become operational in September 2026.

NSW council reduces grid electricity consumption, costs with solar, energy efficiency

Tweed Shire Council says its grid electricity consumption has dropped by 11% last year because of improved energy efficiency and additional solar projects. Together, both contributed to an overall emissions reduction of 19%.

Australian-backed solar farms completed in Papua New Guinea

During a state visit with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra on Feb 8, Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister James Marape welcomed Australia’s recent completion of the construction of two new solar farms in West Sepik and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Technology

Featured

Entering the renewables era

Following strong global solar installation figures in 2023, Alexa Capital co-founder and partner Gerard Reid sees enormous potential for a renewables revolution.

Research finds climate, degradation rethink on inverter lifespans required

New research from Belgium shows the importance of assessing inverter reliability by including climate-based PV panel degradation rates. The scientists found that, especially in hot and arid climates, PV inverters should be designed with parameters above the standard value.

Solar waste tipped to provide material supply security

Researchers from the University of New South Wales have rejected suggestions that end-of-life solar panels will create a “waste mountain” in Australia, saying instead that they could serve as valuable material reservoirs for future production.

Weekend read: Artificial opportunities

Artificial intelligence (AI) is hot right now and is finding central applications in homes and businesses as they move from simple grid connections to self-generation, energy storage, electric vehicle charging, and load-shifting revenue streams. With AI everywhere, what’s the difference between advanced control via simple algorithms, and true intelligence?

Fluence broadens storage strategy with optimisation software

Global energy storage technology company Fluence has more than 1 GW of battery projects operating or under construction in Australia and it is now broadening its strategy beyond hardware to include optimising asset performance and servicing.

Commissioning process spoils improvements in solar project timelines

Australia’s energy transition risks falling behind with a new report showing that the time required to plan, build and commission a large-scale solar farm is almost four years with the final stage of the process having blown out to six months or more.

Manufacturing

Featured

UNSW research finds high temperatures increase module degradation

A UNSW study has shown that hotter temperatures, as result of climate change, means solar panels are at greater risk of degradation. Prolonged exposure to harsher outdoor conditions increase the cost of solar energy in hotter Australian regions.

‘Sustainable’ module prices unlikely to fall further

PV manufacturing analysis is revealing that module prices can not “sustainably” fall significantly in 2024, without producers selling below cost. UK-based analysts Exawatt delivered the development last week, in a trend being observed by Australian market participants.

Netherlands reveals details of incentive scheme for PV manufacturing

The Dutch government has submitted a public proposal to support the production of heterojunction and perovskite-silicon tandem modules, as well as building- and vehicle-integrated PV panels, with a maximum allocation of €70 million (USD75.1 million) per solar manufacturing project.

Weekend Read: Blackouts trigger a PV pivot

Decades of mismanagement have eroded trust in South Africa’s state-owned energy utility, Eskom. Last year, households and businesses suffered daily blackouts of up to 10 hours, or even longer. Solar and battery energy storage are booming but a domestic PV manufacturing industry has yet to materialize.

Clean Energy Regulator module tests reveal manufacturing, handling faults

The first report from the Clean Energy Regulator’s new solar module testing program have been released, revealing that most modules were “generally found to be of good quality.” Slightly over 10% of the modules tested failed electroluminescent (EL) testing as a result of either manufacturing or handling and transportation damage.

PV manufacturing should start immediately, viability study finds

The Silicon to Solar (Roadmap) study has found Australian PV supply chain manufacturing is viable and calls for immediate action to establish it as a strategic priority industry and set up a solar manufacturing taskforce.

Energy Storage

Featured

Trina Storage releases 4.07 MWh energy storage system

Trina Storage has developed a 4.07 MWh energy storage system featuring its in-house 306 Ah lithium iron phosphate battery cells, configured with 10 racks of four battery packs.

$14 million momentum for home grown renewable technology expansion

The federal government is to provide advanced technology and skills development to businesses looking to locally manufacture renewable energy technologies, following a $14 million fund to create the Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre.

60 MW Shady Creek Solar Farm wins development approval

Ireland-headquartered Elgin Energy Australia have announced approval from the Victorian government to develop the 60 MW Shady Creek Solar Farm and 60 MW / 120 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), located on Bayleys Road, Yarragon, Victoria.

Queensland offgrid project upgrade demonstrates power of modern PV

A secluded island residence off-grid system receives new tech upgrade. The additional power and bang-for-buck demonstrates the new era of offgrid living available to Australian remote households.

Four-hour MREH project attracts $400 million in debt finance, reaches financial close

Renewable energy, Singapore-based infrastructure developer Equis Australia and the State Electricity Commission (SEC) for Victoria have closed landmark $400 million (USD261 million) in debt financing for the construction of Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub’s 200 MW/800 MWh A3 battery energy storage system (BESS).

LG launches new residential storage solution

LG has developed two versions of its new enblock E storage system, each with usable energy capacities of 12.4 kWh and 15.5 kWh. It says the two models, sized at 451 mm x 330 mm, can be easily deployed in small spaces.

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