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Employment

Mini series: Women at work

Women provide an invaluable perspective in the PV industry’s workforce. Studies have shown that the number of qualified women in leadership yields better performance, and that female representation leads to greater collaboration and fairness within the workplace. Yet there still exists a great divide and inadequate representation. This year’s In Conversation section in the August edition of pv magazine highlights the significant contributions of leading women in the solar industry across its many segments, geographies, backgrounds and professions. Watch out for the interviews, which will be published over the coming Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Solar Victoria investigation uncovers no AI interference in Solar Homes

Following up suspicions raised by the state’s solar installer community, Solar Victoria launched an investigation into whether artificial intelligence (AI) had been deployed to exploit registrations for the rooftop PV subsidy. The investigation has concluded that there was no AI interference in the Solar Homes portal.

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Parliamentary inquiry into controversial Solar Homes rebate voted down

Labor MPs together with three crossbench MPs have voted down an inquiry in the Upper House on how the Victorian government’s Solar Homes program was put together and is being implemented. The push for an inquiry was promised to the solar industry by Opposition leader Michael O’Brien at a protest held in late July.

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Potential $92 billion boost to Aussie economy from EV and personalised transport uptake

A study by LEK Consulting puts the future economic value of “new mobility” options such as electric vehicles and autonomous taxis in the tens of billions of dollars. The benefits go beyond decarbonisation into social and healthcare realms — compelling reasons to accelerate change.

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Suspicions grow that Solar Homes being gamed

The impacts of the cap that Victoria’s Solar Homes program is having on local installers are becoming more pronounced, as some express fears that the system is being exploited by unscrupulous industry players. Solar Cutters says some installers are receiving “pitiful” numbers of installs under the scheme, leaving them “dumbfounded”.

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Victorian protests over solar rebate woes to continue this week

The Smart Energy Council has announced plans for a second rally to warn against the current Solar Homes scheme’s damaging effect on Victoria’s solar industry. This time, the protest will target Premier Daniel Andrews’ office.

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Australia-Singapore power link, world’s biggest solar+storage project get government backing

The Northern Territory has given major project status to an ambitious plan to develop a 10 GW solar farm coupled with a 20-30 GWh storage facility near Tennant Creek and export solar power harvested in the Australian desert to Singapore via subsea cables.

Western Victoria’s network upgrade to unlock up to 6 GW of new wind and solar farms

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has laid out a $370 million plan for network upgrades in Western Victoria which would deliver almost double the benefit to both energy consumers and energy producers. However, the proposal has provoked federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s attack on the state’s renewable energy target.

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Australia’s first compressed air energy storage facility gets go-ahead

The South Australian government has given its tick of approval for the development of a 5 MW/10 MWh compressed air energy storage facility, which will store excess solar and wind power at a closed underground mine.

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States take over on climate change, but NSW and Queensland make patchy progress

With no new measures to the reduce emissions in the electricity sector and no renewable energy target beyond 2020, federal government leaves little room for hope for policy driven renewables expansion. At a state level, ambitious renewable energy targets could help fill the policy void to a certain extent, but some states are falling short of their self-imposed targets for either renewable energy or emissions reductions.

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