Top News

Okra Solar’s new tech is a one-two punch against energy poverty

Okra Solar, the Aussie startup we last saw delivering solar mini-grids to remote communities via a shared ping-pong table, is emerging from Covid-19 lockdown with new investors and two new pieces of tech that will better enable solar energy access to the 900 million people around the world still lacking power.
Installations

Australia tops up solar funding to Tonga

An additional $2.9 million from the Australian Government's Outer Islands Renewable Energy Project (OIREP) is making its way across the sea to the kingdom of Tonga in the form of solar power plants and energy storage. The project is helping Tonga to achi...
Installations

Solar could hold advantage in post-pandemic global energy sector

The International Energy Agency has acknowledged dramatic falls in energy investment caused by the Covid-19 crisis but said renewables, including PV, offered an attractive proposition to investors as the dust settled, given their enticing economics and s...
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Japanese golf course becomes 100 MW solar park

A new 100 MWp solar power plant supplied with Kyocera solar modules has begun operation in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture. Operated by the Kyocera-backed Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills LLC joint venture, the plant is one of the largest PV facilities on the isl...
Technology

Solar forecasting evolves

Accurate self-forecasting of yield from renewable energy generators is set to help AEMO manage incoming resources. PVMaster, brings a unique experience to the field of foreseeing the next five minutes in solar production.
EV

MagniX electric aircraft engines take to the skies

No emissions, low-cost regional flights with just eight other sanitised folk and a disinfected pilot... Yes, Covid-19 is warping our view of the future, but the successful electrically powered maiden flight last week of a Cessna Caravan aircraft, offers ...
Installations

Extreme weather and electricity reliability: Resilience is key

New research by digital services company, Accenture, finds global energy-utility executives feeling underprepared for the increasing frequency of extreme weather events caused by climate change. It’s time to expand the definition of reliability.
Markets & Policy

Photon Energy secures financing for two merchant solar plants in NSW

The two solar plants with a combined capacity of 14 MWp will represent the first Australian utility-scale PV projects in Photon Energy's independent power producer (IPP) portfolio.
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Press Releases

SolarEdge Appoints Carsten Schmidt to General Manager of SolarEdge e-Mobility Division

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (“SolarEdge”) (NASDAQ: SEDG), a global leader in smart energy, announced today the appointment of Carsten Schmidt to General Manager of its e-Mobility Division.

Australia’s Tritium helps Pasadena unveil the largest public EV fast-charging location in the US

The Californian City of Pasadena has installed 20 Tritium fast chargers and 24 Tesla superchargers on the rooftop Marengo Charging Plaza — part of the drive to encourage EV uptake.

LPE is bringing solar electricity to over a million Australians living in apartments through an innovative new partnership with Allume

LPE and Allume are implementing this partnership to help create sustainable strata communities for the future, who have struggled for years for fair, cost-effective solar solutions.

Jemena calls for renewable gas certification to unlock Australia’s bioenergy potential

Leading energy infrastructure company, Jemena, has called for a national approach to green accreditation for renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, as part of its submission to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Bioenergy Roadmap today.

Opinion & Analysis

Featured

Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

IEEFA Australia: Investing in CCS and relying on voluntary action on emissions is revisiting the olden days

The government’s Climate Solutions Fund offers little hope for financial-industry backers of a Paris aligned economic recovery writes Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies with IEEFA Australasia

Renewables to drive a clean recovery from Covid-19

While covid-19 will cause a lot of short-term pain, it presents us with a unique opportunity to accelerate the clean energy transition.

Zero-emissions solutions are ready to roll, right when the economy needs them most

A major new report finds there is a pathway to zero emissions for every major economic sector in Australia. Over 18 months in the making, Decarbonisation Futures offers fresh ideas for how Australia can embrace the zero-emissions future that is visible on the other side of the pandemic, writes Amandine Denis-Ryan of ClimateWorks Australia.

Impact of Covid-19 on the global energy sector

Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global economic and social crisis. The pandemic has significantly affected all aspects of life, including the energy sector.

Decommissioning coal – an opportunity for energy storage?

Coal has underpinned power generation for more than a century as a cheap, reliable and well understood technology, writes IHS Markit analyst George Hilton. Decommissioning of coal generation, in light of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, will radically change the energy landscape and potentially leave a substantial gap to be filled by energy storage technologies.

Covid-19

Featured

Australia’s technology roadmap to lower emissions: Gas, CCS, coal and nuclear on the cards

A national Technology Investment Roadmap, which is intended to drive a successful shift to secure, more affordable energy and lower emissions, has flagged support for new gas investments, carbon capture and storage, and "emerging nuclear technologies". The long-awaited document has prompted a flurry of reactions.

BayWa and GSES partner up to skill up the solar industry

Solar wholesaler BayWa r.e. is partnering with industry trainer Global Sustainable Energy Solutions (GSES) on training provision seeking to ameliorate a noticeable lack of quality control within the rapidly growing solar industry.

Independent MP Zali Steggall calls for Economic Recovery Roundtable

In the face of renewed political polarisation on the both Federal energy policy and Australia’s economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19, Warringah MP Zali Steggall has called for a Roundtable in which both public and private sector voices of the nation can better vet potential projects.

Greens’ economic recovery plan to invest in renewables

The Greens released their plan for Australia’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis this week. The plan looks to invest heavily in renewable infrastructure, a cunningly rational ploy to solve a few crises at once.

Queensland fast-tracks new transmission line to unlock renewables, battery industry investment

The Palaszczuk Government is providing funding to accelerate a $1.5 billion transmission link stretching from Townsville to Mount Isa in North Queensland in a bid to stimulate large-scale solar and wind investment and underpin the creation of local battery industry.

FuturaSun enters Australian PV market

Italian-headquartered module manufacturer FuturaSun has completed accrediting its module range with the Clean Energy Council.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Really Australia, it’s not that hard: 10 reasons why renewable energy is the future

Australia’s latest greenhouse gas figures released on Friday show national emissions fell slightly last year. This was by no means an economy-wide effort – solar and wind energy did most of the heavy lifting.

Malaysia launches 1 GW solar tender

Sunday will herald the largest PV procurement exercise ever held in Malaysia. Half the available capacity will be directed to 10-30 MW facilities with the balance reserved for plants with capacities of up to 50 MW.

Renewable energy in the US surpassed coal for first time in more than a century

The coal era is officially over in the United States. Not since 1885, when coal replaced wood, have renewables taken the lead.

Canadian Solar sees turnover and profits surge

The Chinese-Canadian solar manufacturer reported a 41% year-over-year increase in total module shipments to 2.2 GW in the first quarter. Revenue grew by 70% to $826 million, while net profit improved significantly from $17.2 million to $110.6 million.

New rules pave the way for off-grid renewables to replace poles and wires

In a major reform of the energy rules, distribution businesses across Australia will be allowed to service remote areas with stand-alone power systems and avoid costly network upgrades.

Juwi to build renewable energy hub in regional Western Australia

The German-headquartered project developer has signed a deal with Pacific Energy’s subsidiary Contract Power to build a hybrid renewable energy project that will power the town of Esperance.

Installations

Featured

NSW seeks expressions of interest for 3 GW renewable energy zone

Solar, wind and energy storage companies have until June 5 to express interest in building parts of the 3 GW renewable energy zone in New South Wales.

Solar leads Australia’s energy transition as renewables set new record

In 2019, renewables continued to undermine the dominance of coal on the Australian grid and surged on the back of a massive 46% year-on-year jump in solar power, according to the latest data from the federal Energy Department.

Solar parks may have better biodiversity impact than intensive monoculture farming

A research project in the Netherlands is seeking to assess the impact of large scale PV projects on soil quality and biodiversity. Principal scientist Wim Sinke, of Dutch research center TNO, says well-designed and operated and maintained solar parks could prove to have better outcomes than monoculture farming.

Cultana Solar Farm ramps up for construction start

Work on the long-awaited 280-megawatt Cultana Solar Farm in South Australia could begin as early as July.

Sun Cable survey contract awarded to Guardian Geomatics

The Sun Cable megaproject is moving from strength to strength with last week’s announcement of the awarding of its cable route survey contract to Guardian Geomatics Pty. Ltd.

Gransolar Group to build Molong Solar Farm in NSW

The Spanish EPC contractor has signed its fourth contract in Australia to build the 39 MW PV array 40 kilometers north-west of Orange.

Technology

Featured

Perth-based Talga strikes deal with European lithium-ion battery giant

Perth-based graphite anode producer Talga has allied itself with European lithium-ion battery giant Farasis Energy Group as the market in Europe for sustainably sourced electric vehicles continues its rapid rise.

Chief Scientist says big batteries are not ready to fast-track energy transition

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has claimed Australia will remain dependent on gas for up to another 30 years as it seeks to transition to a renewables-dominated grid.

Sun Cable to build Darwin megabattery

Following hot on the heels of Sun Cable’s awarding of its unprecedented cable route survey contract to Guardian Geomatics Pty. Ltd., the company has also announced planning approval for a Darwin megabattery to form an integral part of its Australia-ASEAN Power Link.

No time to waste, WA lends support to waste-to-hydrogen project

Western Australia’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy is beginning to make moves with the backing of Hazer Group and the Water Corporation to produce hydrogen from biogas, an Australian-first with a technology developed in Australia.

Major consortium initiates big hydrogen cell: first stop, Australia’s buses

A global consortium of technology providers, transport and infrastructure experts has joined forces to show the Australian public the feasibility and utility of hydrogen fuel cells to cleanly power public transport.

Big rooftop solar in the cities: dynamic switching is key

Epho Commercial Solar has developed a proof point for urban solar power stations that can flexibly deliver clean energy behind the meter to commercial customers and replace fossil fuels at the heart of the NEM.

Manufacturing

SMA to supply Australia’s biggest solar farm

The Western Downs solar farm will deploy German power electronics fabricated locally in Australia, with SMA announcing it has picked up a contract to supply the 400MWac development.

Jinko launches PV module with record output of 580 W

The panel is part of the company’s new Tiger Pro series, which includes two 530 W modules and a 430 W product for distributed-generation applications. It will begin production of the series in the fourth quarter, although it will start accepting first orders immediately.

REC Group confirms patent action against Hanwha in China

The solar manufacturer with manufacturing in Singapore has filed a claim against its Korean competitor relating to REC’s split-cell and junction box technology.

SMA sold 4.4 GW of inverters in the first quarter

The German manufacturer secured around 60% of the turnover expected this year in the first three months alone but still posted a net loss. Much of the company’s demand in the period was related to pre-Covid-19 activity in the U.S. and European solar markets.

500 W-plus panel race intensifies with JA Solar’s new module and Risen’s first shipment

Chinese manufacturer JA Solar has announced a new 525 W+ panel and said the product will be available from the second half. Domestic rival Risen has shipped the first batch of its high-powered modules and intends to stick to pre-Covid-19 plans to ramp up production.

AEMO: The grid can handle 75% renewables by 2025

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has found that the country already has the technical capability to safely operate a system where three-quarters of electricity comes from wind and solar. However, to do so it needs to get regulations right.

Energy Storage

Featured

ACT fast-tracks solar upgrades for public housing, batteries for schools

The ACT Government has allocated funding to undertake solar and sustainability upgrades on public and community housing and install solar batteries for two public schools as part of its fast-tracked infrastructure projects to support the local economy.

Used EV batteries for large scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

NSW has approved Snowy 2.0. Here are six reasons why that’s a bad move

The controversial Snowy 2.0 project has mounted a major hurdle after the New South Wales government this week announced approval for its main works.

Goldfields-Esperance gets its first community battery

Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia (WA), is set to receive the region’s first community battery. The WA Government-owned utility Western Power is looking to smooth out peak load periods by integrating the Tesla battery into the network.

56 MW hybrid microgrid powers up at Western Australian gold mine

The unique solar, wind, and battery project has been completed at Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine, marking Australia’s largest hybrid microgrid of its kind.

5B partners with Risen Energy to help bushfire communities

Risen Energy Australia has been confirmed as a solar panel partner on the Resilient Energy Collective bushfire relief campaign, which aims to install stand-alone solar and Tesla battery systems at up to 100 sites around Australia.

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