San Francisco has now joined other US cities in banning natural gas in new homes. The move is in stark contrast to the direction of energy policy in Australia, where the Morrison government seems stuck in reverse: spruiking a gas-led economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s been a busy couple of months in global energy and climate policy. Australia’s largest trading partners – China, South Korea and Japan – have all announced they will reach net-zero emissions by about mid-century. In the United States, the incoming Biden administration has committed to decarbonising its electricity system by 2035.
Soaring fossil fuel prices have caused the scaling back or closure of Australian mines, resulting in production and job losses at a massive scale. More recently with the added consideration of carbon emissions, energy represents both a risk and an opportunity for this sector.
Australia doesn’t yet export renewable energy. But the writing is on the wall: demand for Australia’s fossil fuel exports is likely to dwindle soon, and we must replace it at massive scale.
Cornwall Insight Australia’s Lead Consultant – Market Analysis, Lumi Adisa, compares the lead times of major coal fired power station retirements in the National Energy Market (NEM) and analyses how renewables, particularly solar plus battery storage, are able to replace lost generation in the transition to a two-sided market.
As Victorians fly out of lockdown and into the thick of summer the solar industry is preparing for the release of pent-up demand for solar which was hungered for during lockdown but went unsatisfied. pv magazine Australia sat down with AC Solar Warehouse’s Grant Behrendorff to gauge the backlog of installations and talk shop in the approach to a bumper summer.
Biden has made a long list of promises and commitments to the environment and future of clean energy if elected. Which of these promises could we see immediate action on and which are years down the line?
A report by Finnish company Wärtsilä has estimated the potential impact if every dollar committed to a non-renewables energy sector recovery was instead funnelled to clean power.
Rooftop solar installation figures in Victoria have plunged dramatically in recent months but an easing of Covid-19 restrictions has provided a welcome boost for the state’s small-scale solar installers.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has published its annual report this week, a report glowing with the hue of ‘prudent investment’ according to the CEFC Chair. The report emphasises the prudence and efficacy of the green bank’s mandate despite attempts by the Morrison Government to siphon off funds for fossil-fuel investments.
Rooftop solar and investment in large scale renewable energy continues to power, largely unperturbed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Clean Energy Regulator’s latest Carbon Markets Report.
The Sumitomo Corporation has reported a stunning ¥26bn (US$251m) loss on its Western Australian Bluewaters coal fired power investment. The loss assures the company’s worst ever annual performance and comes as a result of international and financial pressure against coal funding.
Neoen announced last month that it had completed the financing of its 460 MW Western Downs Green Power Hub, but today it has been revealed that said green finance came about through a wide reaching international effort, including seven global banks, a salutary sign that green finance is accelerating as fossil fuel divestment continues.
The Clean Energy Council have called renewable energy the “clear winner” of the Victorian Budget 2020/21, saying the $1.6 billion in allocated in targeted funding represents a landmark for the state.
Work on a new electricity transmission line linking Victoria and New South Wales is going ahead under a joint funding agreement between Victoria’s state government and the federal coalition.
Community group Solar Citizens is calling for the Queensland government to expand its solar for renters trial following the release of results which found participating tenants were, on average, $600 a year better off after solar was installed on their rooftops.
The choice of battery storage technologies in support of solar energy supply is broadening to suit a variety of emerging applications. VSUN has just made its first power play for vanadium-redox-flow batteries in the off-grid residential market.
For a company that has its own big sunny solar farm and is developing a companion green-hydrogen production plant, the next step must be to formalise its commitment to go 100% renewable.
South Australian design and manufacturing company PVDymanics has unveiled a unique ‘slide in’ solar canopy system which it believes can revolutionise the micro-grid market.
The Australian rooftop PV market is expected to eclipse all previous records in 2020 but a new report has raised serious questions about the fire safety standards associated with small-scale solar installations.
A group of German scientists has analyzed the possible trajectory of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in photovoltaic research and industry and has suggested a roadmap to bring this technology closer to mass production. Despite a large number of challenges, the academics predicted a brilliant future for CNTs in PV applications, explaining that the barriers to their adoption are constantly being reduced.
Belgian start-up Sunslice has developed small, portable, high-performance solar panels that can be applied to backpacks and be used as rechargers for smartphones and watches.
Recognising that the major problems facing the world can’t be solved by any one organisation, three New South Wales universities at the peak of renewable-energy research have rewritten the rules of collaboration to influence policymakers and accelerate solutions to market.
The University of New South Wales will lead a consortium of Australian and German researchers and industrial partners in a feasibility study to tease out and provide solutions for the obstacles for the trade of green hydrogen from Australia to Germany.
A Dutch-Hungarian research team has measured, for 12 years, the degradation rates of PV modules installed in an off-grid system located in Ghana. It found that the panels had an average annual decline in power yield of 3.19%.
The solar manufacturer’s impressive third-quarter gross margin is set to fall back in the current three-month window because global shortages have seen some material costs double since the world came out of Covid-19 shock.
For the last few months, while her city lay dormant in lockdown, Nastaran Meftahi has been tucked away developing a machine learning model to predict where the most promise for next-generation organic solar cells is held.
Steel giant BlueScope is backing the NSW Government’s ambitious renewable infrastructure plan through a $20 million investment into the development of a Renewable Manufacturing Zone at its Port Kembla site in the Illawarra. The investment seeks to encourage innovation in the renewable sector and work towards the Government’s goal of constructing the state’s Renewable Energy Zones with local materials.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the photovoltaic inverter maker was able to significantly increase its turnover and sales compared to the previous year.
It remains unclear why Chairman Jin Baofang was detained, but the company said its operations will not be affected. The Paper, a Chinese state-owned media outlet, reported that Jin’s detention might be connected to the fall of Liu Baohua, the formal deputy director of the National Energy Administration, which has also been under investigation by the anti-corruption authorities since mid-October.
AGL’s ambitious 850 MW target of new large-scale battery storage in its portfolio by FY 2024 is seeming less like an opportunity and more like an inevitability with each passing week. Following on from last week’s announcement of a 250 MW, four-hour-duration battery at its Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia, AGL has this week announced a 200 MW battery project at Victoria’s Loy Yang A power station.
Following on from Social Energy’s launch in Australia late last year, the UK company has teamed up with SolaX to offer a rather appetising feed-in-tariff deal to go with a combined solar and energy storage system.
AGL, one of Australia’s biggest polluters, is working towards net-zero emissions by 2050 and new relevance in a renewable-energy-powered world. Think big batteries to replace the spinning reserve of some coal and gas generators, and digital management of its customers’ distributed rooftop resources.
Scientists in the U.S. examined the use of different conductive filler materials in a lithium-ion battery electrode, finding that adding single walled carbon nanotubes to a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode resulted in better electrical conductivity and higher rate capability for the overall battery. The results, according to the group, could provide new insights into design of high power, high energy battery electrodes.
On Tuesday 13th October 2020 Queensland’s electricity spiked from approximately $25/MWh to $15,000/MWh (the current market price cap) in response to a tripping incident involving the constraint of 11 solar farms and one wind farm. The event is being seen as illustrative of just what needs to be addressed in the design of NEM 2.0.