From an energy-hungry importer to a frontrunner in the decarbonization race, South Australia has set the bar high for how to efficiently transition to a low-emissions grid dominated by renewables. With wind and solar already supplying more than a half of its electricity, the state’s energy transition shows no sign of letting up. In fact, South Australia is gearing up to accelerate the pace of its clean energy transition and expand its big PV fleet as it moves toward its 2030 target of “net” 100% renewables.
Swiss investment firm SUSI Partners is investing up to $50 million in a residential solar-plus-battery project enabling participants from communities across Western Australia to generate and consume their own clean power for up to 90% of their needs. The project, which began a year ago, and involves residents leasing solar PV and battery systems from a not-for-profit organisation.
Abundant sunshine, favorable policy settings and high power prices have long placed Australia at the cutting edge of rooftop solar uptake. The more recent utility-scale boom has further enhanced its status as a PV leader. Battery adoption, microgrids, EVs and green hydrogen are all taking shape, yet what should be an Aussie smart energy no-brainer continues to be dogged by mounting investment uncertainty and a toxic debate on the national level.
Elon Musk has promised a fab near Berlin that will help create up to 10,000 new jobs. Tesla wants to build the facility near the city’s controversial new BER airport.
The Western Australian government is looking to retrain 100 electricity network workers in the installation and maintenance of standalone power systems. Solar and storage systems could replace large parts of the state’s electricity network and WA’s utilities are looking to reskill its workforce for the transition.
The company says its network is the largest fleet of batteries under virtual power plant management worldwide.
Market intelligence company Navigant Research has developed a country forecast of the global market. Incentives and pricing will be the main driver of installations, though the market will continue to be concentrated in certain key regions for now.
Known for its blockchain-based peer-to-peer platform that allows energy trading between households, Power Ledger is now readying for the first large-scale commercial rollout of its technology in Australia. The Perth-based company has partnered with electricity wholesaler Powerclub to allow households to pool net solar and battery storage and act as a virtual power plant.
The Smart Energy Hub can operate in electrolysis mode to store renewable energy as hydrogen, or in fuel cell mode to produce electricity and heat from previously produced hydrogen or methane. Its developers are the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and start-up Sylfen.
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