First-quarter data from Green Energy Markets shows double the uptake of small-scale rooftop solar on the same period last year as record numbers of residential and business consumers seek to reduce their electricity bills. The tendency for installations to increase toward year end suggests that more than 2 GW of solar will hit the rooftop tiles this year. How could this become a cautionary tale?
Solpod today launches a potential game changer in commercial solar PV. Substantially funded by ARENA, supported by energy retailer, ERM Power, and trialling across 25 shopping centres and NSW Government sites, this innovation has the legs to go global.
One of the two largest managers of Australian retail property, Vicinity Centres, has invested $73 million in a solar program set to provide 31 MW of clean energy to 22 shopping centres and their retailers by end 2019. An early-stage trial of Trina bifacial panels will see Vicinity increase its solar yield mid-rollout.
Having observed early adopters negotiate renewable energy contracts for financial and sustainability gains, the next wave of Australia’s commercial and industrial energy consumers is ready for offtake. A raft of flexible new solar PV contract models and services is rising to meet their ambitions.
In the lead-up to the NSW election last Saturday, the difference between Labor and Liberal candidates’ support for renewable energy was stark. Now as the State waits for Gladys Berejiklian to form a cabinet, the planned large-scale renewables pipeline — some 16 GW of solar, wind and battery assets — begs for a co-ordinated approach to connection and distribution of the state’s future sources of power and prosperity.
In research breakthroughs announced over the past few days, an ultrathin graphene film soaks up the sun, a renewable thermal solution provides a novel source of industrial heating (think hot rocks!) and the Future Grid Homes project reveals Airbnb as a potential model for excess-energy sharing between consumers.
Santos’s Cooper Basin oil production is set to be transformed by a trial using solar PV and a CSIRO-developed hybrid battery to replace diesel generators powering the pumps that deliver oil from underground 24/7. Early success suggests the trial will serve as a proof point for the reliability of renewables in many more off-grid applications.
Last year, Sun Metals insurer FM Global proposed cyclone testing the company’s 125 MW solar infrastructure near Townsville in Queensland, to better understand the risks involved in covering the asset against damage. The insurer today called for standardised testing of solar-farm designs proposed for the country’s north east, and the application of clear building guidelines that safeguard vital renewable infrastructure.
New-generation energy retailer Flow Power will today release figures that show its high-use energy customers have collectively saved $14 million with power purchase agreements since the start of 2018. Such powerful testimony signals a new maturity in Australia’s renewable-energy PPA market.
Labor’s Sunday solar schools announcement may not be the last renewables pledge it makes to win the hearts and minds of the NSW electorate. It takes into account the voice of climate-striking students, and every disaffected-teenage contribution to conversations around the dinner table.
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