We owe a lot to John Howard. He may not have realised it in May 2007, but when he doubled the Photovoltaic Rebate Program value to $8000, our second longest serving prime minister set in motion a chain of events that would lead to Australia hosting 2 million rooftop solar power systems.
The renewable sector has responded warmly to the reappointment of Lily D’Ambrosio as Energy and Environment Minister. Her title has been expanded to take into account the growing responsibility of running the re-elected state government’s expansive solar and storage initiatives.
Pernod Ricard Winemakers will source 100% of its electricity from renewables by mid-2019. The company, responsible for wine brands Jacob’s Creek and Brancott Estate, will install 2.8 MW of PV at its Barossa Valley winery, and source the remainder of its power from renewable energy, under a Virtual Generation Agreement with retailer Flow Power.
The first shipments of Jinko’s new Cheetah module series will commence in January 2019. The module uses larger monocrystalline wafer, PERC cell technology and is available in either a half or full-cell format.
German inverter giant SMA has reported huge market share in the Australian marketplace, announcing 1.8 GW of PV power plant installations in 2018. The company’s dominance of the large scale segment is such that it claims “almost all utility scale PV power plant projects in Australia rely on the SMA Medium Voltage Power Station.”
With the Coalition in Victoria punished by voters and the Federal Government slipping further into minority, the muddled energy policy agenda of the conservative Liberal and National parties is starting to receive an electoral backlash. Long-reported public support for renewables can no longer be ignored.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten unveiled the party’s ‘all of the above’ plan for Australia’s energy sector, which it will take to the 2019 election. A ramped-up NEG, project auctions under a CfD structure, grid infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and a boost to battery storage all feature and were welcomed by the clean energy sector.
With the Australian solar market booming across all three market segments, the first pv magazine Quality Roundtable at All Energy Australia discussed how time constraints for installers is threatening quality in the rooftop sectors. And for the utility scale, a more sophisticated approach to modelling project output can hasten grid connection and AEMO acceptance.
SunPower has reported that the enhanced power density and 25-year warranty for its shingled P-Series modules was a key factor behind its selection by Belectric as the module supplier to the 349 MW Limondale utility scale solar project. Chris O’Brien, SunPower’s Australian Managing Director reports “strong bookings” for the new module concept.
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