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Solarwatt unveils two bifacial glass-glass panels with half-cell design

The most powerful of the two products has a power output of up to 380 W and an efficiency of 20.4%. For both panels, the temperature coefficient is -0.37%. The German manufacturer said the modules are produced at its manufacturing facility in Dresden.
Energy Storage

Huawei enters Australia’s residential battery market with modular Luna2000

Chinese giant Huawei has entered Australia’s residential solar battery market with its home energy storage system, the Luna2000. The lithium-iron phosphate 5kWh cells have a modular design and are scalable to 30kWh. Huawei is banking on 10 kWh system c...
Markets & Policy

Regulator expands fraud detection, introduces new anonymous online tool to growing arsenal

The Clean Energy Regulator has adopted the whistle-blower platform Whispli to allow Australians to report any potential fraudulent or non-compliant behaviour anonymously online. The move comes just after the Regulator joined forces with the Clean Energ...
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Our May Edition is out!

Get your hand on our new edition here!

What to expect:

  • Bigger modules present bigger supply chain challenges
  • Life after PERC is a battle that’s going down to the wire
  • Only so big, the limits to the power of size alone

 

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Installations

Free solar systems to be given to South Australian concession holders from today

South Australian concession holders can now opt to switch their payments for a brand new solar system as part of the state government’s Switch for Solar pilot program which kicked off on Monday.
Installations

Solar powered ice-cream beer? Say no more

Ben & Jerry's and 4 Pines, two companies who have been long supportive of renewable energy, have teamed up to create a limited-edition Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Nitro Beer which will also help a community group receive a solar installation from Eno...
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Energy Storage

Harvard scientists unveil solid-state lithium battery that can be charged and discharged at least 10,000 times

US scientists have created a new design for lithium-metal, solid-state batteries that should avoid the formation of dendrites that grow into the electrolyte. Their multilayered battery could potentially recharge electric vehicles within 10 to 20 minutes.
Installations

Powercor to unlock more than 1.3 GW of queuing large-scale renewable projects

Transmission is not the only way, proves network service provider Powercor with its new plan to help Victoria hit its ambitious emissions reduction targets, while considering the needs and sensitivities of regions set to host the state's Renewable Energy...
Markets & Policy

$2 billion blueprint to run a green hydrogen river through the Hunter Valley

Hydrogen is the word on everyone's lips as the Federal Government champions hubs of no particular colour. Seasoned clean players such as Energy Estate are identifying greenfield opportunities for renewable energy and industry to meet.

Press Releases

More choice for Aussie households in home battery storage

Redback Technologies have today provided a sneak-peek into the future of their Smart Home Battery Systems, unveiling the SB9600 and the SB14000 as the latest additions to Redback’s Smart Battery series.

Pure Hydrogen signs water supply agreement for Project Jupiter

Australian East Cast-focused clean energy company Pure Hydrogen is pleased to announce that it has executed a water supply contract with the Gladstone Area Water Board for the supply of water for its planned large0-scale Project Jupiter hydrogen plant to be located in Gladstone, Queensland.

New guidelines strengthen Victoria’s solar energy future

The Victorian Government is continuing to support innovation, promote investment and help meet its ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Targets through the release of a landmark, Australian-first technology strategy for Solar Victoria, the agency delivering the state’s $1. 3 billion Solar Homes Program

Victorian Government becomes founding partner in Zero Carbon Certification Scheme for renewable hydrogen and ammonia

The Smart Energy Council and Hydrogen Australia today announced the Victorian Government has become a founding partner in its Zero Carbon Certification Scheme.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

The budget should have been a road to Australia’s low-emissions future. Instead, it’s a flight of fancy

Professor John Quiggin from the School of Economics at the University of Queensland on where the federal budget falls down.

Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it just transitions

Last November, the NSW government announced its Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap which is expected to attract up to $32 billion in private investment for renewable energy infrastructure by 2030. The Roadmap aims to unlock 12GW of new renewable energy capacity from selected Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) with an additional 2GW in storage. Last month, the state government progressed its plans as it opened consultations on “specific urgent and mechanical policy details” on regulations needed to implement the Roadmap.

Paying Australia’s coal-fired power stations to stay open longer is bad for consumers and the planet

Australian governments are busy designing the nation’s transition to a clean energy future. Unfortunately, in a misguided effort to ensure electricity supplies remain affordable and reliable, governments are considering a move that would effectively pay Australia’s old, polluting coal-fired power stations to stay open longer.

5MS is coming but it still remains a known unknown

The shift from 30-minute settlement to 5-minute settlement (5MS) is fast approaching – 162 days away but who’s counting.

Floating solar farms could cool down lakes threatened by climate change

Solar power is now the cheapest source of electricity in history, according to a 2020 report by the International Energy Agency. But there’s something holding this clean energy powerhouse back: space.

Strong growth ahead for international battery storage markets

Annual battery storage installations will exceed 10 GW/28 GWh in 2021, following a particularly strong year in 2020, despite the challenges created by the global pandemic, writes IHS Markit analyst Mike Longson. Combined solar and storage will be a core focus for new deployment in 2021, as the front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter energy storage markets are both expected to grow significantly in the months ahead.

Covid-19

Featured

100+ businesses band together to demand 1% of GDP be allocated to clean energy in May budget

More than 100 Australian businesses, including some of the country’s largest, have banded together to put pressure on government to commit at least 1% of GDP to a green energy recovery in the May budget and to ensure a more equitable transition to renewables for marginalised Australians.

Here’s what Biden’s infrastructure bill offers solar and cleantech

The $2 trillion package includes a proposed 10-year extension of the ITC and PTC and calls for further incentives to add transmission capacity. Most solar advocates liked it, but one nonprofit panned it as being too industry-friendly.

Five large-scale community batteries to be integrated into the Sunshine-absorbent State’s substations

Queensland’s government will install five community batteries at regional substations across the state in a bid to time-shift its abundant solar resources.

‘Falling solar module costs are behind us’

Canadian Solar is pivoting towards energy storage and is preparing to IPO its manufacturing and Chinese solar project activity in China, under the CSI Solar operation, by July.

Sunday read: History repeats

“Unprecedented” was a term widely used in 2020, as the world grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic. The same word can be similarly applied to the plans and investments in production capacity announced by Chinese PV manufacturers right across the supply chain. But what shape are these expansions taking and what is driving this renewed confidence? Vincent Shaw reports from Shanghai.

BHP nickel refinery hooks up with the largest solar farm in the West

BHP has started the year by signing a PPA that will halve emissions at its Nickel West Kwinana refinery and double its green cred as a supplier to environmentally conscious lithium-ion battery manufacturers.

Markets & Policy

Featured

How will you know it’s green hydrogen?

Thinking backwards from demand for green hydrogen, the Smart Energy Council identified that investors and customers will have to be able to trust the integrity of the product. Its world-first verification scheme, launched in late 2020 is gaining international traction.

Sunday read: the ‘other side’ of batteries

Graphite’s pivotal role in electric-vehicle battery technology is coming under increasing scrutiny. Graphite is almost exclusively produced in China, and while the processing of the mineral poses serious environmental issues, the alternatives appear costly. Ian Morse looks at what’s next for critical graphite supplies.

Saturday read: China reaches a tipping point in 2021

This year will be a key period in the development of China’s solar PV market. It is the first year of the 14th five-year plan, the first calendar year after President Xi Jinping announced the 2030-60 carbon emissions commitment, and the first year for utility and commercial unsubsidised projects. IHS Markit expects the solar industry in China to reach another milestone with more than 60 GW of installations this year, advancing the ground for the energy transition and the displacement of traditional energy sources to fullfill the goal of a net carbon future over the next four decades to come.

Australia can be ‘renewable energy superpower’ says Albanese

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has outlined his plan for Australia to “emerge as a renewable energy superpower,” underwritten by a $100 million initiative to fund apprenticeships in new energy jobs including solar, large-scale renewable projects, green hydrogen and renewable manufacturing.

‘Hydrogen as a universal climate solution might be a bit of false promise’

Hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels will not be able to move forward fast enough to replace fossil fuels and tackle climate change, according to a German-Swiss research team that claims direct electrification alternatives are cheaper and easier to implement. The scientists cite too-high prices, short-term scarcity and long-term uncertainty, as the main reasons for their skepticism, which has caused a stir in academic circles.

Green hydrogen supply chain concerns

With South Africa holding 63,000 of the world’s estimated 69,000 metric tons of platinum reserves – according to the Statista.com website – and Russia and Zimbabwe a further 5,100 between them, the European Commission has cited the metal as an example of a potential supply chain bottleneck that could handicap its grand plans for renewables-powered hydrogen production.

Installations

Featured

Lightsource bp gets approval for 600MW NSW solar energy hub

British-headquartered solar developer Lightsource BP has received approval to develop a 600 MWdc solar PV hub in central western New South Wales which the company said could become the largest renewable energy power hub in the state.

Rooftop CPV-thermal tech to produce electricity and freshwater

It’s claimed the decentralised desalination system can deliver a levelised cost for desalinated water of US$0.7-4.3/m3, depending on PV costs and electricity prices. It was built with several concentrated photovoltaic/thermal (CPV-T) collectors, a hot water tank, a V-MEMD module, a seawater feed tank, and a distillate tank.

NSW leads nation with record number of rooftop solar PV installs

New South Wales is leading the rooftop solar PV race with homeowners in the state installing more than 100,000 systems in 2020 according to the CSIRO following a detailed analysis of data released by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Solar Citizens warns controversial ‘sun tax’ shapes as threat to NEM

Solar Citizens has warned the Australian Energy Market Commission’s controversial proposal to make solar PV owners pay to export their surplus production to the grid could send the National Electricity Market into a ‘death spiral’.

Vast Solar progresses plans for $600 million solar thermal plant

Australian renewable energy developer Vast Solar is calling for expressions of interest from contractors as it pushes ahead with plans to develop a $600 million hybrid solar thermal project in far western Queensland.

3.3 GW renewables pipeline provides cover for coal-fired power plant closures

Record investment in solar and wind farms across the National Electricity Market has helped to quell concerns that Victoria and South Australia will face increased risk of blackouts later this decade following the impending closure of the Yallourn coal-fired power plant.

Technology

Going fission! How scientific enquiry by UNSW may push solar cell efficiency to 38.2%

Cross-pollination of scientific and engineering thought within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Exciton Science has led to promising findings on the the cool solar-cell efficiency-boosting mechanism known as singlet fission.

Tesla shifts battery chemistry for utility-scale Megapack energy storage system

The famous electric car manufacturer is reportedly shifting to cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries for its utility-scale battery.

Australia’s only solar manufacturer helps students construct solar race car

Tindo Solar, Australia’s only solar panel manufacturer, has teamed up with a group of engineering students from the Australian National University to help them construct a solar race car.

Organic solar for high-speed data detection and indoor light harvesting

Researchers in the United Kingdom have built a 14%-efficient organic PV device that can be used in high-speed optical wireless communication systems. The cell consists of a 4×2.5mm photoactive layer fabricated with a bulk heterojunction of a polymer donor and fullerene and non-fullerene acceptors.

Going with the vanadium flow: Yadlamalka battery takes shape

A new South Australian big battery will show the value of deploying diverse storage technologies in the NEM. Matt Harper calls pv magazine Australia from Canada, to talk tech.

The best radiative cooling tech for PV arrays

Scientists in China have analysed the radiative cooling techniques used in combination with solar energy systems such as PV arrays, solar thermal collectors, and concentrated PV installations. They identified five major system typologies based on functionality and working time.

Manufacturing

Featured

Redflow launches itself into high-voltage grid-scale space with Energy Pod Z modules

Queensland flow battery company, Redflow, has unveiled the product it’s hoping will launch its lucrative high-voltage, high-capacity, grid-scale future: the Energy Pod Z module.

Sunday read: Too big to handle

There has been a flurry of activity within the PV cell manufacturer landscape over the past 12 to 18 months, and it’s largely been in one direction: bigger. But as large-format modules arrive on the market, questions are being raised as to how long the trend can continue and when bigger becomes, quite simply, too big.

Australian manufacturer unveils new 400W module as demand grows

Australia’s only solar module manufacturer Tindo Solar has unveiled a new generation 400 W module for the domestic and export markets as the Adelaide-based company rides a wave of success that has delivered a 40% increase in retail orders and 70% rise in wholesale orders in the past 12 months.

Thai plans for 8 GWh lithium battery gigafab

The 1 GWh first phase of a planned 8 GWh lithium battery factory in Thailand is likely to be up and running during 2023.

A different angle on perovskite defects

Scientists in China took a closer look at the role of defects in limiting the performance of perovskite solar cells, demonstrating a screening effect that could be tuned to make material defects “invisible” to charge carriers, greatly improving cell performance. Using this approach they demonstrate a 22% efficient inverted perovskite solar cell, and theorise several new pathways to even higher performance.

Saturday read: Microcracks and module design

New cell and module technologies are boosting power outputs, but they often have implications for quality. A focus purely on cell cracking illustrates just this point, with some approaches proving beneficial, and others potentially problematic – cue Tristan Erion-Lorico from PV Evolution Labs (PVEL).

Energy Storage

Featured

Smart Energy declares government missed chance to recharge home battery schemes

Solar retailer Smart Energy believes Australia’s small-scale solar PV industry has been let down by the Federal Government which has been widely criticised for the lack of funding included in the Federal Budget for the renewable energy sector.

Australian battery storage assets bring French developer’s revenue down

An expected drop-off in the performance of its Australian battery energy storage assets has sparked a $24 million (€15.6 million) downturn in consolidated revenue for French renewables developer Neoen.

350,000+ solar panels installed by state water utility, marking completion of mammoth project

Government-owned water utility, SA Water, has completed its extensive solar installation project, which involved installing more than 350,000 PV panels across 33 water treatment plants and pump stations across metropolitan and regional areas of South Australia.

Australia’s notoriously slow C&I segment gains momentum with shopping centre leadership

While suburban Australian rooftops have become coated in solar panels, the roofs of our commercial and industrial buildings have remained conspicuously bare. Our shopping centres, however, seem to be slowly be moving in the direction ordinary Australian’s have paved, with Australia’s largest privately-owned shopping centre yesterday announcing plans for a sizeable microgrid. Likewise, Vicinity, one of the country’s largest shopping centre managers, has managed to increase its sustainability rating largely through its extensive solar program.

RedEarth and Rexel partner for nationwide distribution as battery demand grows

RedEarth Energy Storage has partnered with Rexel Australia to expand its nationwide distribution network as the demand for Australian-made energy storage systems grows despite the economic downturn.

A string of off-grid solar-powered data centres will transform regional business

Edge Centres’ model for grid-independent data distribution at the edge of connectivity is set to rock regional Australia with its low-cost reliability, and has been welcomed by solar operators in Japan.

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