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More than 2,500 low-income homeowners in NSW take up rebate swap for solar offer

The NSW state government’s Rebate Swap for Solar program has attracted 2,700 households to the scheme, which it says will take $600 a year off energy bills. The energy, environment and climate change ministry announced the scheme’s progress this week.

Smart Energy Council rallies support for federal government’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standard

Australia’s peak solar body is urging its members and the renewable energy community to support robust emissions standards for new cars. The federal government released a consultation paper on the new standards today and has provided one month for public submissions.

Weekend read: Connecting HJT

The application of busbarless cell interconnection approaches could unlock the potential of heterojunction (HJT) technology, primarily by reducing the historically high silver usage of negatively-doped, “n-type” cell technology. As HJT production increases, a wave of applications may very well be on the horizon.

Interview: REC Group CEO highlights power density, sustainability in time of oversupply

High performance and low environmental impact are set to stand heterojunction module maker REC Group in good stead in the current buyers’ market, argues CEO Jan Enno Bicker. Speaking to pv magazine at Intersolar Europe last month, Bicker said that in the rooftop segment the benefits of the company’s Alpha HJT module series shine. 


Weekend read: Flex generation

A new generation of flexible, lightweight modules is entering the market. With back contact technology offering its own form of design flexibility and robustness, the new products could crack a hard-to-address market segment, as Jonathan Gifford explains.


Weekend read: Solar’s supply-chain pioneer

Zhengrong Shi and his company, Suntech, are true pioneers of the Chinese solar industry. While Suntech burned bright, and eventually flamed out, under Shi’s leadership, the company’s solar ecosystem and innovation persist as China’s PV market surges past 100 GW(AC) today.

Weekend read: A moral trilemma

US solar was disrupted in 2022, with module seizures delaying projects due to strict laws designed to stamp out alleged forced labor practices in sections of the Chinese PV industry. However, it remains to be seen whether seizures affected such alleged practices.

EU solar manufacturers’ ESG credentials could bolster revival

With calls for a revival in European PV manufacturing becoming more urgent, the Environmental, Social, and Governance credentials of its PV producers are being touted as a way in which manufacturing can be supported or even protected. The case for the ESG credentials of European manufacturing was advanced by multiple speakers at the 2023 SolarPower Summit this week in Brussels.


Pioneering solar researcher hails funding ‘turnaround’

World-leading solar researcher UNSW Scientia Professor Martin Green says that PV research activities in Australia right across the value chain will be accelerated by the recent $41.5 million (USD 28.5 million) funding awards from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The funding will foster the development of ultra-low-cost solar by extending and expanding nine UNSW solar research programs.


Weekend read: Plating up

A reduction of silver consumption in PV production is required on the way to terawatt scale. Given this, the time may have come for the commercialisation of new copper plating technologies – doing away with the need for silver in cell metallisation altogether. However, the history of plating technology is littered with cautionary tales.


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