Skip to content

Top News

Spotlight on Australian solar – what’s working, why, and where there’s room to grow

Perth-base company Solahart has delivered a heartening snapshot of solar Australia. It found the country deploys renewable energy 10 times faster per capita than the global average, four times faster per capita than in Europe, China, Japan or the U.S.A. Solahart examined what motivates different demographics of Australians to install solar and which parts of the country are most suited to solar.
Energy Storage

Federal government commits a further $275m to regional hydrogen hubs, devotes similar sum to controversial technology

Australia’s federal government has pledged a further $275.5 million to develop regional hydrogen hubs and $263.7 million for carbon capture and storage technology in a pre-budget announcement ahead of the climate summit on Thursday.
Installations

Tasmanian sheep farm installs flow battery-based microgrid system

Redflow’s Systems Integration Architect and largest shareholder has brought his work home, installing a 280kWh Redflow battery-based microgrid at his sheep farm in northwest Tasmania.
Announcements

pv magazine Annual Award 2021: open for entries

Are you a PV or energy storage industry innovator?

 

Have your new product or service recognized in the pv magazine 2021 Annual Awards.

 

Entries are currently being accepted for the awards across six categories: Modules, Inverters, Balance of System (BoS), Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), Sustainability, and Manufacturing. Enter free today to go in the running to be a 2021 winner!

pv magazine Webinar

Solución de inversor de gran potencia para red trifásica de bajo voltaje en América Latina

Registration Link

pv magazine Webinar

Keep cool and distribute stress: A recipe for improved performance

Registration Link

pv magazine Webinar

Waterproofed: new cable testing, standard for Floating PV

Registration Link

pv magazine Webinar

Can you design sustainable PV backsheets without compromising performance?

Registration Link

pv magazine Webinar

Out with the old… A guide to successful inverter replacement

Registration Link

REGISTER NOW!

Sponsored
Markets & Policy

Morrison continues to deflect net zero 2050 commitments despite growing international pressure

At an inner-city dinner party for the Australian Business Council, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "we will not achieve net zero in the cafes, dinner parties and wine bars of our inner cities"; and he was right, because at this particular inner-city d...
Markets & Policy

Shaded solar parks found to be beneficial for pollinators and plants alike

Researchers in the US ascertained that the partial shading provided by solar parks creates a microclimate that favours the abundant growth of more varied flowers and pollinators. They also found that partial shading increases bloom abundance by delaying ...
Sponsored
Sponsored
Hydrogen

Indian firm acquires American hydrogen cylinder maker in bid to further market domination

New Delhi-headquartered Uttam Group of Companies has purchased California-based Catalina Composites as it positions itself for a surge in demand for clean energy solutions, including hydrogen. The company will invest at least $20 million in staff, equipm...
Installations

NSW installer receives unexpected response from customers after switching exclusively to microinverters

Solar installer Jake Warner has received surprising feedback from his customers after he chose to transition his company, Penrith Solar, exclusively to microinverters two months ago. “What I found is actually the opposite to what I expected,” Warner ...
Hydrogen

WA green hydrogen project grows from 1 GW to 8 GW, following commitment from French powerhouse

Province Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French giant Total Eren, which could see the two companies have equal shares in Province’s HyEnergy Zero Carbon Hydrogen project proposed in northwest Western Australia. Importantly, the ...

Press Releases

Queensland explorers invited to stake their claim in $2.5 million

Queensland’s mineral explorers are being invited to stake their claim in $2. 5 million worth of grants to find the minerals needed to meet the demands of the world’s technology and renewable sectors.

Wind farms to generate power and jobs for the Southern Downs

Two windfarms and up to 400 jobs in the Southern Downs are a step closer to reality with the State Assessment and Referral Agency giving the green light.

Enphase Energy and REA Global Power the First Electric Bus in Australia

Enphase Energy, a global energy management technology company and the world's leading supplier of microinverter-based solar-plus-storage systems, today announced that Transdev, a multinational transit operator, selected Enphase microinverters for the first public transport depot in Australia to feature a fully solar-powered bus.  Transdev plans to electrify the public transport network in Australia to show that it is more economical both financially and environmentally to transition to solar-powered electrical vehicle (EV) buses.

Major Project Status to boost WA battery industry

The Morrison Government continues to strengthen Australia’s critical minerals sector with the EcoGraf Battery Anode Materials Facility in Western Australia being awarded Major Project Status. EcoGraf will develop a processing facility to produce high purity spherical graphite for direct supply to battery anode manufacturers in Europe, Asia and America, and is expected to be the […]

Opinion & Analysis

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.

Now they want to charge households for exporting solar electricity to the grid — it’ll send the system backwards

It’s come to this. The Australian Energy Markets Commission has produced a draft decision that will make households and small business with solar panels pay to inject their surplus production into the grid.

We need an energy access revolution: A new approach to innovation can help

840 million people still don’t have access to electricity today, according to the World Bank. But the radical decrease in the cost of the green technologies of solar and battery storage provides an unparalleled opportunity to close this gap and achieve universal electricity access by 2030.

Down 55% – but not out

Over 2,000 MW – or around 55% – of South Australia’s firm supply capacity was unavailable on March 12, 2021, along with virtually all of its large-scale renewable supply (a further 1,800 MW or so) but the lights stayed on – just.

100% Renewables – A year in practice

It has now been over a year since City of Newcastle made the switch to a 100% renewable electricity supply contract, as one of the first Local Governments in Australia to do so. For those that love energy data, it tells an interesting tale.

Covid-19

Featured

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.

2020 Year in Review

Soon 2020 will only be a worry to future high-school history students. But when they ask us if anything good at all happened in 2020, remember this review and tell them that solar PV shone in the darkness. Despite the mess of it all, 2020 has been another good year for Australian solar. The industry has demonstrated resilience, and significant progress has been made in the fields of energy storage, green hydrogen and others.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Hydrogen plant in SA would already return millions in profit, research finds

A hydrogen production plant in South Australia would already be profitable, analysis from Cornwall Insight Australia has found.

CEFC loan enables industrial property developments with ‘potential to revolutionise energy use’

International developer Frasers Property Group, which owns Australian-based Frasers Property Australia, has secured a $300 million sustainability linked loan with $75 million provided by the Australian government. The loan will see innovative clean energy technologies installed two Australian industrial projects in New South Wales and Victoria.

Australia’s top dairy processor signs 10-year renewable power purchasing deal

Australia’s largest dairy processor, Saputo Dairy Australia, has signed a 10 year power purchasing agreement with French-owned power company Engie to reduce its emissions through renewably sourced electricity.

The manufacturing multiplier of BZE’s Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts

Business synergies, employment opportunities, leadership in decarbonising world markets. BZE has the ear of the Prime Minister, and research to inspire a statement of intent for renewable-energy-powered, competitive Australian manufacturing.

Hunter Valley coal void moves closer to filling with pumped hydro

AGL is transforming its operations in a number of ways, from restructuring the company itself, to building energy storage facilities for flexible distribution of renewable energy into the future.

SA’s $1.08 billion deal with the Feds to produce more gas!

Australia’s most renewable state has signed a joint funding deal with the Commonwealth Government that hypes gas production, and downplays its considerable renewable-energy benefits.

Installations

Featured

Green hydrogen and the cable-pipeline dilemma

New research from Singapore has found that gas pipelines for the onshore transport of green hydrogen and the cables for the transport of electricity to produce it at a distant location have similar costs at a 4000 km transmission distance. For longer distances, gas pipelines were found to be cheaper than cables, although the electric lines are said to benefit from scaling up and higher utilisation. For both options, however, a currently too high hydrogen LCOE remains the biggest barrier to overcome.

Solar-battery system saves lives securing power for Marine Rescue Narooma 

In stormy weather or transmission-melting days, a Marine Rescue operation can’t be left powerless. A solar system keeps the lights on and communications clear.

Sunday read: Strong growth ahead for storage

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.

Saturday read: China’s push for decarbonisation

The carbon market is finally a reality in China. After 10 years of delays, regional pilot schemes and general uncertainty, China’s national carbon market became a reality on Feb. 1, 2021. Over time, the scheme is expected to support China’s gradual shift away from coal toward more solar and wind in power generation.

United States county uses innovative method to identify optimal solar sites

A U.S. research group has used high-resolution data to drill down to individual parcels of land, in order to figure out how much space is available for solar at optimal locations and preferred sites.

Facebook achieves net-zero emissions, looks to global value chain to follow suit

The social media giant met its 2018 goal at the end of 2020 and now aims to achieve net zero emissions for its entire value chain by 2030.

Technology

First Solar claims lowest module degradation rate in the industry

The US cadmium telluride thin-film module maker said its Series 6 CuRe panels are able to retain 92% of its performance at the end of the 30-year warranty. The improved stability of the product was achieved by eliminating copper and placing Group V elements such as antimony or arsenic onto the tellurium crystal sites.

Space PV technology company acquired to ‘unlock notable market potential’

The company being acquired, Azur Space, produces triple-junction space solar cells with an average efficiency of up to 30% and is planning to develop ultra-thin solar cells with up to 35%.

Fraunhofer ISE sets record efficiency for front/back solar cell

The cell reached 26.0% efficiency and showed open-circuit voltage values of up to 732 mV. It was fabricated with a back junction (BJ) design with a full-area p-n-junction at the back surface.

Solar may cover 75% of global electricity demand by 2050

A new study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology predicts solar may even achieve a 69% share for total primary energy supply by the end of the first half of the century. In terms of price, solar PV is expected to achieve a capex of €246/kW-installed (AU$385/kW-installed) for utility scale projects, and of €537/kW (AU$840/kW) for residential arrays by 2050. The levelised cost of energy (LCOE), however, is expected to remain constant over the next three decades, as the energy transition will also be implemented with storage technologies, increased flexibility and the production of synthetic fuels.

Silicon for batteries moves to commercial production

U.S. company Group 14 Technologies has announced it will launch factory capable of producing 120 tons per year of its innovative silicon-carbon-based anode material for lithium-ion batteries. The factory is located at Group 14’s headquarters in Washington and is the first of several planned by the company.

Solar power has to be about quality as well as quantity

Greater dispatchability will be required from solar as it becomes increasingly mainstream worldwide, or investors could experience diminishing returns as a victim of the technology’s success at bearing down on electricity prices.

Manufacturing

Featured

PV module price index: New dimensions, new problems

The speed at which manufacturers are introducing changes from one product generation to the next is accelerating – currently, formats are scarcely available for more than a few months before another revised product is launched. But occasionally new module dimensions also bring new problems, be it in handling, plant design, or logistics. Ever-shorter product cycles and hastily launched record-breaking modules with capacities of 500 W, 600 W, or even 700 W are not always welcomed with open arms – especially by those who have to work with them, writes Martin Schachinger of pvXchange.com.

South Australia unveils new export limits for rooftop solar

South Australia’s electricity distributor SA Power Networks has announced plans to introduce new ‘flexible’ export limits for rooftop solar PV in some areas of the state in a bid to manage the growing amount of distributed energy resources and associated network congestion.

Debate on alleged forced labour in Chinese PV industry heats up in Europe

Three Dutch political parties have brought the forced labour issue to Parliament and have asked the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaad, to report on the matter.

Jolywood plans new Indonesian fab

Chinese module manufacturer Jolywood is preparing to invest in a joint venture with state-controlled local partner PT Len Agra Energy to set up 1 GW of annual cell and panel capacity.

JinkoSolar 2020 results reveal a resilient supply of Tier 1 solar modules

Pandemic uncertainties have concentrated key solar players and “heightened competition for ‘survival of the fittest'”, says JinkoSolar Chairman and CEO Xiande Li. The company’s latest figures show it is well placed in Australia and in the global arena.

Cooling PV modules with radiative sky cooling

French scientists have proposed the use of radiative sky cooling as a passive cooling technique to cut PV module temperatures by 10 C. They claim the method could improve performance by more than 5 W/m2.

Energy Storage

Featured

Retail property major makes solar PV move

SCA Property Group has revealed plans to commence installing solar PV energy systems on the rooftops of some of its $3.5 billion shopping centre portfolio as it looks to establish itself as one of the biggest renewable energy generators in the Australian retail property sector.

Juwi builds on off-grid portfolio with 13 MW solar project

The Australian arm of German renewable energy specialist juwi has added another off-grid solar PV project to its burgeoning portfolio, announcing it will construct a 13 MW solar farm at the site of the Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia.

Developer drives ahead with solar farm plan for Victorian coal country

Australia’s transition to renewable energy continues with developer ARP Australian Solar pushing ahead with plans to establish a 70 MW solar PV and battery energy storage project on the outskirts of Morwell in the heart of Victoria’s coal country.

Genex powers ahead with 250 MW pumped hydro project

Construction is set to commence on the 250 MW Kidston Pumped Hydro Storage Project later this month after developer Genex Power announced it had secured all the financing required to progress the $775 million project.

Australia’s vanadium prospects progress as two leading companies evolve flow battery strategies

In a strange synchronicity, two of Australia’s major aspiring vanadium producers have today come out with announcements. TNG Limited has solidified a deal to commercialise vanadium redox flow batteries using output from its Mount Peake project, while competitor Australian Vanadium has filed a patent application for its vanadium processing route.

WA mining company begins journey towards renewable power station with battery install

Gold mining company Wiluna Mining Corp has started its move to renewables, installing a 2 MW battery to replace diesel generators with plans to integrate solar, wind or pumped storage options in the coming years.

This website uses cookies to anonymously count visitor numbers. To find out more, please see our Data Protection Policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close