Top News

ACT Labor promises 250 MW network of batteries if re-elected

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has promised that if ACT Labor is re-elected in October, his government will invest $100 million over the next five years toward the construction of a 250 MW citywide battery network. A battery of that size is unprecedented but certainly achievable, and every Canberran can take part.
Installations

Green Gold Energy proposes two large-scale solar farms along SA-NSW Interconnector

Green Gold Energy has proposed a 185 MW and a 120 MW solar farm within 50km of each other at the South Australian end of the to-be-constructed SA-NSW Interconnector.
Installations

IRENA presents $2tn plan to drive 5.5m renewables jobs by 2023

Doubling down on renewable energy investment and energy transition spending is required to ensure a truly green global recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and its economic aftershock, claims the International Renewable Energy Agency.
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Installations

The way of zen: CSIRO signs 10-year PPA with Ross Garnaut’s Zen Energy

The CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, has signed a 10-year PPA with Ross Garnaut's Zen Energy. The deal will see solar energy from the Nurmurkah Solar Farm and the Nevertire Solar Farm halve the agency's emissions.
Installations

Trafigura to develop 2 GW of renewables though partnership with Australian investment group IFM

Oil and metals trader will join forces with Australian investment group IFM to launch the new entity, which will develop solar, wind and energy storage projects – some of them supplying clean energy to Trafigura operations – as well as making acquisi...
Covid-19

Angus Taylor’s tech roadmap is fundamentally flawed — renewables are doable almost everywhere

Honorary University of New South Wales Associate Professor, Mark Diesendorf, takes the Coalition's Technology Roadmap apart, revealing just how unsealed the road really is, and why renewables pave the way.
Installations

A line in the silicon: SA solar industry inverted as new regulations come into effect

South Australia's new solar installation regulations came into effect on September 28. The regulations, designed to better manage a distributed energy system, are thought rushed by some in the industry, but ultimately they should facilitate more solar in...
Covid-19

“Fund Our Future Not Gas” is the call made to the Coalition in nationwide student protests

Over 500 separate protests, many of them virtual, took place on Friday as students and young Australians across the country again demonstrated their determination in the face of an inveterate Federal Government. Due to the restrictions of Covid-19, many ...
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Press Releases

Energy Council thanks Audrey Zibelman

The Australian Energy Council congratulates and thanks Audrey Zibelman for her leadership of the Australian Energy Market Operator over the past four years.

MHI Vestas Raising the bar in offshore lifting operations

Installation of offshore wind turbines is about to become considerably safer thanks to the new partnership struck between renowned Danish wind turbine manufacturer, MHI Vestas, and the inventor of the world’s first remote-control load orientation solution, Australian smart technology company Verton Technologies.

Vestas and Utopus Insights demonstrate cost-saving success of their open market five-minute self-forecasting pilot

Vestas and its digital solutions subsidiary, Utopus Insights, have successfully used the data from their five-minute self-forecasting pilot to produce customer cost-savings.

SolarEdge launching three phase hybrid inverter in Australia

SolarEdge is bringing DC optimisation to the three phase residential market in Australia with the introduction of a hybrid inverter with unprecedented design flexibility.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

APAC Energy Buzz: Could coal and renewables put the squeeze on gas? 

Rising gas prices, increased energy security and economic recovery at all costs pose risks to Asia’s power sector gas demand growth.

Bigger and better: Technology

The SNEC 2020 PV Power Expo opened on Aug. 8 in Shanghai. Unlike previous editions, the world’s largest solar trade fair was mostly attended by Chinese participants this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the trade fair used to offer insights into global market trends, volumes were low this year due to a buyer/seller standoff amid rising prices caused by the recent accidents at polysilicon plants in Xinjiang. Also, there was little change in technologies. PV InfoLink’s Corrine Lin offers insights into cells and modules at SNEC 2020.

Australian Hydrogen Council supports emerging export market

The move by Standards Australia has set the stage for Australia to play an important role in the growing hydrogen economy. Eight international standards for hydrogen were adopted in the process. The time is now, argues the Australian Hydrogen Council Fiona Simon, for these standards to be adopted into regulations to enable a new hydrogen export industry.

Energy storage and network reinforcement

As renewables penetration increases, transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure will require significant reinforcement. Battery storage is becoming a key alternative to traditional ways of reinforcing network infrastructure, because it is fast to deploy, can provide multiple services, and often comes at a lower capital cost. IHS Markit analyst Oliver Forsyth delves into the additional value streams that strengthen the case for grid-connected batteries.

COVID-19 vs Renewables: How the pandemic is impacting Australia’s solar curve

With Australians spending more time at home during the day as a result of COVID-induced restrictions, many are questioning the impact of shifting energy demand patterns on the solar curve. Byron Serjeantson, Regional Manager at Flow Power considers the potential outcomes of these changes.

The new standards that underpin our renewable future

As new forms of renewable energy mature, strong standards governing safety, storage, transport and more help to build confidence in each industry sector. Here Daniel Chidgey, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Standards Australia outlines the latest guidance for hydrogen, energy storage and ocean energy.

Covid-19

Featured

Taylor bets $18 billion on emissions technology, ignores own hot air

Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor address the National Press Club on Tuesday with his First Statement on the Morrison Government's Technology Investment Roadmap. While hydrogen, storage and electric vehicles get a look in, the Morrison Government is also looking for ways to artificially substantiate its gas-led recovery.

SNEC 2020 CEO Series, Shanghai – Interview with CEO of Ginlong Solis

As one of the most rapidly growing inverter manufacturers, Ginlong Solis went public and became listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) early last year. With the support from the capital market, Ginlong Solis continued its rapid growth. According to Wood Mackenzie, the company ranked among the top ten inverter manufacturers in terms of global product shipments in 2019. How has Ginlong Solis developed its market strategy? What new products and solutions is Ginlong Solis showcasing at SNEC 2020 in Shanghai? And how is the company dealing with the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic? These issues are addressed in the following interview with Wang Yiming, the founder and CEO of Ginlong Solis.

Coalition’s $1.4b ARENA extension cuts solar and wind while enabling fossil fuels

The Australian Government has finally announced new long term funding and an expanded remit for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) beyond 2022. The funding package, which looks more like a cut than anything else, pushes investment away from solar and wind and toward fossil fuel enabling technologies like carbon capture and storage. 

WePower’s Marketplace connects steel manufacturers with renewable energy producers

With new solar coming online or joining the queue at the back of the grid bottleneck, WePower’s Marketplace acts as a connective tissue between renewable energy generators and the coal intensive steel manufacturing industry. WePower then, is helping to build Australia’s green steel industry of the future. WePower’s Harley Tempest sat down with pv magazine to discuss.

UNSW doctoral student’s solar fairytale wins 3 Minute Thesis Final

UNSW Faculty of Engineering doctoral researcher Bruno Vicari Stefani won the University’s Virtual 3 Minute Thesis Final by creatively reimagining the fable of the Three Little Pigs to demonstrate how combining hydrogen with low-cost silicon in solar can improve efficiency.

All gas no brakes – Morrison Government spares some change for transmission upgrades

In a week dominated by the Morrison Government’s announcement of its gas-led strategy for economic recovery, it also committed $250 million to critical transmission infrastructure projects. At the same time TransGrid announced 6,900 MW of renewable investment interest in its New England Transmission Infrastructure project.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Elecnor appointed EPC on Australia’s biggest hybrid solar/battery project

Australia's utility-scale solar is not untouchable. In a major win for the country's clean-energy sector, UPC\AC Renewables yesterday announced the appointment of an EPC for the first phase of its 720 MW New England Solar Farm and colocated potential 400 MW battery energy storage system.

WA Flexibility Services Pilot cues a 100MW orchestra of DER

How to get the gigawatts of distributed solar generation in the WA’s South West Interconnected System to play nicely with the network: Western Power has gathered 100 MW of resource to test its coordinated ability to stabilise the system on low demand days.

AGL expands VPP with solar battery sales to eastern states 

AGL Energy has expanded its solar battery VPP to Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria with the immediate launch of solar battery sales for residents of the eastern states, while solar and battery bundles will be available by the end of the year.

NSW coal country commits to clean energy transition

A new raft of councils across New South Wales’ coal country have committed to climate action and renewable energies are joining the Cities Power Partnership. Lake Macquarie City Council, Port Stephens Council and Cessnock City Council have followed the likes of The City of Newcastle in turning their backs on coal and gas.

WoodMac: Tesla Battery Day 2020: Too good to be true?

Like most Tesla events, speculation and hype were at all-time highs after CEO Elon Musk hinted that something “very insane” would be revealed. He was not far off! Tesla detailed a completely new cell, along with plans to improve manufacturing, costs and shrink the battery supply chain. With such bold claims come many questions.

Chinese PV industry headed toward grid parity

Project delays and price changes due to fluctuating demand are disrupting the Chinese solar market. Researchers who have analysed the situation claim that the nation’s PV industry will be back on track toward grid parity by the end of the year.

Installations

Featured

Solar auctions to spread PV over the commercial landscape

Once upon a recent time, installing and extracting value from solar PV installed on commercial rooftops was viewed as extremely complex. Innovators such as Energy Action have been smoothing the experience, such that now you can almost just sit back and watch it happen...

‘Nuclear power is now the most expensive form of generation, except for gas peaking plants’

The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report indicates the stagnation of the sector continues. Just 2.4 GW of new nuclear generation capacity came online last year, compared to 98 GW of solar. The world’s operational nuclear power capacity had declined by 2.1%, to 362 GW, at the end of June.

Small-scale surge continues with Yates Electrical 20 MW partnership

South Australia’s small-scale solar sensation Yates Electrical Services is teaming up with Sustainable Energy Infrastructure to develop 20 MW of small-scale solar over the next 18-months, another sign of the strength of the small-scale solar surge which flies under the radar of the network’s congestion woes.

Supermarket Wars Renewed – Coles signs 10-year PPA with CleanCo

The Supermarket Wars have taken to the aisles of renewable generation as each grocer strives for greater renewable integration. This week, Coles Group signed a 10-year PPA with QLD state-owned generator CleanCo to source more than 90% of its QLD energy requirements from the as yet completed Western Downs Green Power Hub.

WA opens potentially 1.5 GW renewable hydrogen hub to global expressions of interest

The Western Australian Government has invited Expressions of Interest from around the world into its potentially 1.5 GW wind and solar hydrogen hub at Okajee Strategic Industrial Area. WA’s Mid-West region has some of the world’s best solar and wind resources which could feed the development of WA’s green hydrogen economy.

Centralised vs decentralised: surge in small-scale utility PV causes inverter decision rethink

While long commissioning delays and approval processes continue to hamper Australia’s utility scale market segment, smaller projects are surging ahead. And given the shift in the market, argues Fimer Australia’s Aaron Zadeh, inverter selection requires a rethink.

Technology

Featured

An optimistic – but realistic – perspective for sodium batteries

International researchers have analysed the potential of sodium-based energy storage and found recent technical advances have arrived faster than those for the lithium-ion batteries which have been studied for three decades. Issues remain, however, before sodium constitutes a complementary option to lithium.

Perth-based consultancy signs MOU with UK battery manufacturer to produce lithium cells in WA 

Lithium Valley south of Perth is set for two new faces after UK battery manufacturer AMTE Power and Perth-based infrastructure firm InfraNomics signed an MOU to explore the possibility of establishing lithium-ion cell manufacturing facilities in Western Australia.

Best membrane for vanadium redox flow batteries

A new research paper looks at the membranes used for applications in vanadium redox flow batteries. It outlines various membrane technologies and the obstacles to bringing batteries to mass production.

Thin-film agrivoltaic solar tubes

German tech company Tube Solar AG has secured €10.8 million to develop its cylindrical agrivoltaic modules. The lightweight devices could also be used on roofs until now considered unsuitable for PV.

Digitalisation of transformers, a fundamental step in grid transition?

Increasing transformer reliability and performance has the potential to better control voltages in the grid, and enable greater connection of renewables. With its first major launch since Hitachi finalised its US$11 billion acquisition of ABB Power Grids in July, the company shows how digitalisation of transformers can help smooth the energy transition.

Smooth operators: Australian-designed ESS spells grid independence for the 24-60 kWh end of town

“We’ve put together the best components to make a unique Australian-designed solution that is compliant to the new battery standards,” says EVO Power’s Jamie Allen. Off grid or upmarket, just add solar.

Manufacturing

Cutter Rail: Clenergy’s new mounting system just made for installers

Solar panels are growing to produce higher output, racking needs to evolve in tandem. Industry participants have contributed to a new Australian-manufactured rail that is engineered to ensure safety, longevity and the needs of installers working on residential and commercial rooftop projects.

Long read: Time is now for HJT

There’s nothing new under the sun, and this is ever so in PV. So it should come as no surprise that the hottest new cell technology has actually been in mass production for decades. But is now the time for heterojunction to move into the mainstream? There are serious challenges to overcome if so, but momentum is undoubtedly building.

SNEC 2020 CEO Series: Suntech bounces back

Once an industrial solar giant, Suntech has worked hard to rebuild its foundations and regain a solid footing in the global PV industry, following its financial crash in 2013. pv magazine caught up with CEO Tang Jun at this year’s SNEC 2020, held in Shanghai, China, last month, to find out its plans for the future, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected operations. Strong global growth and continued multi-crystalline production are two cornerstones of the business.

SNEC 2020 CEO Series – Interview with Liu Zhifeng, Vice GM of Jolywood

Jolywood is one of the few PV manufacturers, who has placed its bet on TOPCon technology. Instead of focusing on the simplicity of the production process, Jolywood believes the conversion rate is more critical. With years of efforts, the company has established its leading position among TOPCon players. During the SNEC 2020 in Shanghai, pv magazine had the opportunity to interview Liu Zhifeng, Vice General Manager of Jolywood, and listened to his views on some hot topics, especially the cell tech route.

Keeping PV panels honest — ACT innovation fund pumps up testing capacity

Michelle McCann and Lawrence McIntosh, the partners behind the solar panel testing facility, PV Lab, in Canberra think of Australia’s PV installations, large and small, as making up a vast virtual power plant. Their goal is to wring the promised performance from panels being sold into the Australian market and the ACT Government has just boosted their chances.

First Solar changes course: now selling its thin-film solar panels into the distributed generation market

The utility-scale solar pioneer and specialist is going small. After decades of avoiding distributed generation, its distributors will now offer First Solar’s series 6 modules to “projects and customers of all shapes and sizes.”

Energy Storage

Featured

Tesla battery day bingo

Tesla battery day is next week. Earlier this year, Elon Musk told analysts that what he had to say “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” Here’s a list of battery hyperbole and terms you’re bound to hear at the event.

Spring cleaning – wind and solar are sweeping gas and coal out the door 

New analysis from Rystad Energy and Cornwall Insights Australia demonstrate how the return of spring has once again emphasised the growing supremacy of wind and solar in Australia’s energy makeup. The stats don’t lie, wind and solar are sweeping coal and gas out the door.

FCAS fetches highest revenues in SA and NSW

Battery energy storage developers might consider the findings of new research by Cornwall Insight Australia, that batteries located in South Australia last year earned the most from supplying Frequency Control Ancillary Services to the NEM, and that New South Wales also offers fertile ground.

Long read: Inside WA’s bet on PowerBanks

Western Australia is soaked in sunshine, and PV uptake is challenging the grid. But small numbers of medium-sized community batteries are taking the heat off the system, while helping more people to reap the dividends of rooftop solar PV.

QLD is in the zone – opens new renewable energy zones for proposals

The Queensland Government has opened the registrations of interest period for its three planned and well-funded Renewable Energy Zones. The Sunshine State is calling on the renewables sector to come forward and lead Queensland’s renewable revolution.

Floating PV to offset underperforming hydropower

Brazil now has 12  GW of underperforming hydropower capacity, according to U.S. researchers. Large-scale floating PV is an ideal solution to offset this shortfall, due to its high capacity factor, load correlation, and high potential output during periods of high demand.

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