Drones have already established themselves in industries as disparate as warfare, wedding photography, and burrito delivery, and increasingly the solar sector is taking the high road, too. Combined with thermal imaging, drones have the potential to obviate expensive maintenance costs for large-scale solar plants, as well as C&I and growing niches like floating PV. But how useful are they, and what role does AI play in making the most of a bird’s eye view?
The Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation has won over $1 million in funding from the Victorian Government for the development of a 4.9 MW solar farm, as well as several other community arrays. This is a win for Indigenous self-determination and a proven long-term income and employment stream which will help to “enable a healthy, strong and vibrant Aboriginal community”.
As part of the Western Australian government’s 2021-22 Budget, Premier Mark McGowan announced a new $50 million fund to stimulate the growth of the state’s green hydrogen industry for domestic use and exports. The fund comes on top of several ongoing initiatives and includes funding for private industry feasibility studies, including one which will see bp repurpose its Kwinana Oil Refinery into a green fuels hub.
Australia has the sun, the wind and the space to become one of the world’s green hydrogen export superpowers in coming decades. However, the Sunburnt Country does have a dearth of one ingredient in the green hydrogen equation – freshwater. Thankfully, researchers from Monash University and a group of national water utilities are joining forces to find a way to use wastewater for the process of electrolysis.
Corporate power purchase agreements are the second most adopted purchasing method in the world, and they’re growing fast. With the U.S. and Europe picking up the pace in the last year, the Asia Pacific is not going to be left behind, with Wood Mackenzie estimating corporate PPAs in the region doubled in the last year.
Researchers at Monash University have published a new study in which high voltage lithium batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles and grid scale energy storage systems, are tested with a novel lithium salt shown to be far less hazardous than current conventional materials.
Australia’s proposed 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub has encountered what appears to be a governmental double standard, as the country’s environment minister has rejected an expanded proposal. Thankfully, the project’s proponents have not become discouraged in the face of this double standard; in fact, they’re doubling down.
A bp Australia study partially supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has confirmed the technical feasibility of large-scale renewable hydrogen and ammonia production for export in Australia, particularly in Western Australia’s Mid-West. However, the development of such an industry, says bp, requires strong government policy support, including a carbon price or emissions cap.
Photon Energy’s Leeton and Fivebough Solar Plants have been commissioned after just under a year of construction. The two plants’ 14.6 MWp combined output is a positive sign for the Riverina region with its strategic importance to the renewable energy transition, and an achievement for Amsterdam-based Photon Energy.
The world authority on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has issued its Sixth Assessment Report, the most scathing yet, declaring our current trajectory of global warming will reach 1.5C by 2030. The report makes clear the heightened climatic effects of climate change will only increase, with the transition to renewable energies our only hope.
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