Top News

Greentech raises funds for greenhouse gas-to-hydrogen investment, eyes $100m Australian opportunity

California-based Greentech startup ReCarbon, which recycles greenhouse gases by converting them into hydrogen, is targeting a big Australian investment.
Energy Storage

BYD to introduce next-generation Battery-Box in 2020

The Chinese manufacturer has also announced plans for a tenfold production capacity increase, as it wants to cater to all project sizes with two versions of its high-voltage storage system.
Installations

Epho commences construction of its first urban solar farm

Construction is underway on the first urban solar farm to harness the power of clean energy using Epho's Bright Thinkers Power Station. The technology overcomes various constraints for solar in the city allowing installations to operate both behind and i...
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Markets & Policy

Victoria proposes cuts to minimum feed-in tariffs

Victoria’s Essential Services Commission has proposed electricity retailers should offer PV owners the option to choose between a single rate feed-in tariff and a time-varying feed-in tariff, and set lower minimum rates for both.
Installations

Vietnam introduces auction scheme for large-scale PV

With the publication of Notification No. 402/TB-VPCP on Nov. 22, the Vietnamese government has cemented its transition from feed-in tariffs to auctions, in a clear step away from earlier promises to revive the FIT scheme.
Installations

Pernod Ricard becomes first Australian winemaker to switch to 100% renewables

All of the winemaker's Australian sites are now using renewable electricity thanks to the completion of the nation's largest combined winery solar installation and a 10-year power purchase agreement to source renewable electricity.
Energy Storage

Marinus Link project firms after positive early reports

Tasmania’s ambitions of becoming the Battery of the Nation improve after early reports on the proposed Marinus Link, a second interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria, show the project’s economic advantages far outweigh expected costs.
Markets & Policy

Solar PV a great bulwark to summer blackouts, says AEMO

The release of AEMO’s 2019/20 Summer Readiness Report has set the scene for another summer of excessive heat and risk for the grid. However, AEMO has stressed the importance of the influx of solar PV to the grid.
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Press Releases

Hydrogen Council and European Investment Bank sign advisory agreement to address climate change with increased investment in hydrogen

The Hydrogen Council, a global initiative of CEOs representing energy, transport, and industry organisations advocating for the accelerated deployment of hydrogen solutions, and the European Investment Bank (EIB), one of the world’s largest providers of climate finance, today signed a landmark agreement to collaborate on the development of innovative schemes to finance hydrogen projects to address climate change.

CEFC welcomes positive findings in Project Marinus Business Case Assessment

The CEFC welcomed the release today of the Final Business Case Assessment for Project Marinus – a proposal to provide new electricity network interconnection between Tasmania and the Australian mainland at Victoria.

Business case brings us closer to realising renewable energy potential

Tasmania is on the verge of becoming the renewable energy battery of the nation as the Project Marinus business case confirms that a 1,500 megawatt Bass Strait interconnector is technically feasible and commercially viable.

Energy Industry Preparations for Summer Peak

The Australian Energy Council and Energy Networks Australia have issued a fact sheet on the potential impacts of extended hot weather on the energy system following the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Summer Readiness Plan.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Let’s Talk Losses

Last week two things happened related to rule changes on losses. The AEMC released a draft determination, rejecting the proposal to move to Average Loss Factors (ALF). They also held a working group for COGATI which proposes dynamic marginal loss factors.

The journey to NEM 2.0

Australia made its first moves to open up its energy industry in the 1990s, when the National Electricity Market (NEM) was first created, and many of the rules and regulations from back then are still in place today. But the rise of renewables in the 21st century, argues Clean Energy Investor Group Chair Rob Grant, necessitates a rethink of this market structure.

Same same but different module

Utility-scale solar is booming in Australia. Quality assurance, especially solar panel testing, helps achieve better performance and lower costs. Best-practice testing is key, writes Michelle McCann, managing partner at PV Lab Australia, but must be planned and fully integrated into a project from an early stage. This integration ensures flow-through from panel manufacturers to commercial buyers and large project owners.

The race has only just begun

The Australian utility-scale PV and wind industries have just gone through a record two years of construction and commissioning. More specifically, writes Rystad Energy’s David Dixon, utility-scale PV has transformed from a megawatt-scale market to one measured in gigawatts. The resultant boom in utility-scale PV in the country has attracted developers, EPCs and OEMs, from at home and across the globe.

Safety is paramount

When Sony first commercially introduced lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the industry recognized their potential to revolutionize portable electronics. Ever since, there have been countless efforts to improve the technology, with many researchers focusing on energy density and longevity, in line with demand from emerging applications such as electric vehicles (EVs) and on-grid energy storage. Julian Jansen and Youmin Rong of IHS Markit discuss the effect of safety concerns on this rapidly growing global market.

On prices, technology and 2019 trends

A maturing PV market does not automatically deliver certainty in terms of technology roadmaps and industry dynamics. Crystalizing trends and anticipating developments is the business of analysts, so pv magazine assembled four of solar’s best to talk about prices, technology and market-defining policy developments.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Another Riverina solar project gets go-ahead

The 90 MW West Wyalong Solar Farm has become the latest addition to the swelling solar PV pipeline in the Riverina region having secured the NSW Government's approval.

Survey finds Australians lack solar understanding, industry to step up

A recent survey commissioned by Redback Technologies has found that almost a third of Australians lack understanding of solar, another barrier to the adoption by Australians of integrated solar and battery systems. pv magazine Australia sat down with Redback Technologies CEO Patrick Matweew to discuss.

CSIRO calls for more research to unlock $11 billion hydrogen potential

The national science agency, CSIRO, has mapped the critical research steps Australia must take to realise a potential 7600 jobs and $11 billion a year by 2050 from the burgeoning hydrogen industry.

Survey finds support for new carbon tax, but at what cost?

A University of New South Wales (UNSW) community survey has found majority support for the proposed Australian Carbon Dividend Plan, a plan to tax the biggest carbon emitters and redistribute to the Australian taxpayers.

Aquarius, Let the Sunshine In – Aquatic research facilities turn to solar

Three NSW government facilities for aquatic and agricultural research and development are reducing their grid-dependence by utilising solar PV.

Construction begins at Hydrogen Park South Australia

The transformation of South Australia’s energy system has taken another step forward with early site works at a green hydrogen facility near Adelaide. The plant will integrate what is billed as Australia’s biggest electrolyser of its kind.

Installations

Featured

APA opens new solar farm in its Western Australian renewables precinct

Gas pipeline giant APA Group has formally opened a 19.25 MW Badgingarra Solar Farm in Hill River, Western Australia. The project is colocated with a 130 MW wind farm.

Meat production facility installs Australia’s second biggest rooftop PV array

A $280 million meat production recently unveiled by Hilton Foods Australia in south-east Queensland, is sporting one of the country’s biggest rooftop solar arrays.

SunMan’s flexible solar panels installed on Noosaville Library

The 72.5 kW curved-roof solar installation will generate almost half of the Noosaville Library’s electricity needs. The flexible panels used for the installation are manufactured by Dr Shi Zhengrong’ firm SunMan.

Stockland offers discounted solar and batteries to 25,000 households

Residents of Stockland homes will be able to get a discount on their rooftop solar and batteries thanks to a new national scheme recently launched by the property developer.

1414 Degrees to power abandoned Aurora CSP site with PV and thermal storage

Adelaide-based energy storage specialist 1414 Degrees has announced plans to acquire SolarReserve Australia II, which owns the Aurora Solar Energy Project in South Australia and two solar sites in New South Wales. The company proposes to use the Aurora site to build a massive 400 MW solar farm with progressive thermal storage capacity to several thousand MWh.

Reindustrialising Australia, the path to 500% renewables

Australia has an undisputed competitive advantage when it comes to renewable energy, and many believe we can become a clean energy exportation superpower, but we have to reindustrialise ourselves first.

Technology

Featured

Assessing metal leaching from PV modules dumped in landfill

An Indian research team has analyzed around 300 scientific studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.

Yates Electrical deploys dispatch control tech to respond to price signals

Yates Electrical Services, through its newly-formed retail arm YES Energy, is using automatic dispatching technology on its 40 MW solar fleet to avoid export during periods of negative prices. German monitoring provider Meteocontrol has introduced its new Remote Power Control feature to Australia, with YES Energy reporting that it has allowed it to “seamlessly” curtail production when required.

Star Wars’ Death Star with PV modules could surpass global energy needs by 10 times

EOn has calculated the number of PV modules that could theoretically be installed on the Imperial space station from the popular film series. It concluded that even a small version of the station would be able to provide enough solar power to supply 2.5 billion households on Earth.

183 MW solar farm approved for south-west WA, another 100 MW project on the cards

Western Australia’s South West has attracted the interest of Melbourne-based developer South Energy, which has proposed two utility-scale solar projects for the region. One has already secured development approval, while the other one will be discussed next week.

Clean energy investment confidence continues to slide

A survey run by the Clean Energy Council shows confidence in new clean energy investment continued to weaken over the past six months. While a big majority of industry representatives expect to hire more staff in the next 12 months, the biggest challenges to developing new projects remain unchanged with grid connection process and technical requirements and policy uncertainty at the top of their list of concerns.

UNSW students provide solar solutions to remote Fijian communities

University of New South Wales students have travelled to remote communities in Fiji in order to troubleshoot the challenges of renewable energy integration and come up with technical and design-based solutions to community needs.

Manufacturing

Featured

Golden by name, Golden by nature, Melbourne family reaps solar rewards

In a classic example of nominative determinism, like Usain Bolt running as fast as a bolt of lightning or Bulgaria's ill-fated 400m hurdler Vania Stambolova, the Golden family of Clifton Hill take advantage of golden sunlight to power their home.

Orderly disorder: Cambridge scientists make surprising perovskite discovery

Researchers have made a finding they say could vastly simplify and reduce the production cost of perovskite solar cells. Working with mixed halide perovskites, the group found a disordered chemical composition can improve device efficiency.

Risen bumps up warranty to 15 years

Chinese module supplier and project developer Risen Energy has increased its module warranty for its modules sold into the rooftop segment to 15 years. Representing an increase of three years, the warranty still trails the 25-year warranty covering modules from suppliers such as LG or Q Cells.

SolarEdge reports $1bn revenue in nine months

The third-quarter results for the inverter maker are in and look promising. All performance indicators are up for the steadily growing company.

Interview: What Fimer’s acquisition of ABB Solar means for Australian customers

The Solar Cutters were given the opportunity to meet Filippo Carzaniga, the CEO of Fimer, during All Energy last month to discuss the announcement in July 2019 that the company has acquired the ABB Solar business. Solar Cutters presented questions from within the Solar Cutters Community for better clarification on Fimer’s current market position and what changes, once the acquisition is ratified, will come into effect.

Ginlong’s strongest-ever quarter confirms shift in global inverter market

Chinese string inverter maker Ginlong has reported its best-ever quarterly revenue. The record highlights the shift in the global inverter market since Beijing’s U-turn on solar subsidies pushed Chinese companies abroad.

Energy Storage

Featured

Total completes 16 MW/10 MWh solar+storage project in New Caledonia

The project is an extension of the Hélio Boulouparis 1 installation, which was commissioned in May 2017 with 11.2 MW of capacity.

SPS reaffirms its lead in the race to transform energy in rural WA

Stand-alone power systems (SPS) have reaffirmed its lead amongst technologies racing to transform energy in rural Western Australia.

Evergen goes to the people with crowdfunding campaign

Evergen is looking to boost its growth in Australia and expand overseas as it opens a major capital raising campaign to private and wholesale investors on VentureCrowd.

Plan to go ahead as J-Power recommits to Kidston pumped hydro

The Kidston solar-pumped hydro project is back on its feet after Japanese utility J-Power and Genex Power renegotiated their deal with the extension of funding provided by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Board earlier this month. The project had been thrown off-course after a shock decision by EnergyAustralia not to finalise a purchase agreement.

Western Australia to consume its carbon budget 20 years too early, report finds

Under the business-as-usual scenario, Western Australia could use up its Paris-Agreement 1.5°C compatible carbon budget within 12 years but a massive ramping up of renewable energy capacity would unlock significant economic opportunities for the state, finds a report by Berlin-based science and policy institute Climate Analytics.

University of Wollongong sets benchmark for sustainable buildings in Australia

The University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre has become the first building in Australia to achieve full marks under the world’s toughest sustainability standard for buildings, the Living Building Challenge. With 468 solar panels to support net-zero energy, an onsite rainwater system to enable net-zero water performance, and use of environmentally safe and reused building materials, the building is a demonstration of the value of the research the SBRC team carries out. 

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