Highlights

AGL, Hillgrove Resources scrap 250 MW pumped hydro plans

Australia’s biggest power producer AGL and copper miner Hillgrove Resources have agreed to abandon the ambitious pumped hydro project at an old mine pit in South Australia. No longer bound by the project restriction, the owner intends to step up mining and drilling activities at the site.

UQ: A quantum dot solar cell with 16.6% efficiency

Scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland have set a new world record for a quantum dot solar cell. The group fabricated a 0.1cm² device from perovskite and measured power conversion efficiency at 16.6%. The record has been verified by the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Daintree solar to hydrogen microgrid closing on reality

An Australian-first solar to hydrogen-based microgrid for the World Heritage Protected Daintree Rainforest is another step closer to reality this week after Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch revealed the feasibility study funded by the Federal Government last year is “on track”.

Victoria decides to go it alone on transmission to unlock more large-scale renewables and batteries

The Victorian government has decided to break away from national electricity rules and introduce legislation that will fast-track priority projects like grid-scale batteries and transmission upgrades and make room for more large-scale solar and wind on the grid. The announced reforms have prompted a flurry of reactions.

SEC rallies industry to prevent a sunset on opportunities in Australia’s renewable energy market

Over the past week renewable energy developers and major investors have told the Smart Energy Council that, “They’re done. The sovereign risk in Australia is too great,” says the industry body’s Government Relations Manager, Wayne Smith. With prospects, employment and energy prices in jeopardy, the SEC vows to rattle the corridors of power for a bankable plan.

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5 perspectives on electrification of Curtis Island

The economics of energy supply are subject to a host of variable factors — including steady reductions over time in the costs of solar, wind and battery technology. Last week Rystad Energy published analysis of the proposed electrification of Curtis Island LNG plants and government assertions that such an energy swap would release substantial gas supplies for domestic use, lower gas prices and reduce carbon emissions…

5 things to watch in Australian solar sector in 2020

Despite a massive drop in renewable energy investment seen last year, 2020 promises to bring both good and bad news for the Australian solar sector. While network conditions will continue to deteriorate, the low-carbon policy will become more supportive but also more chaotic.

Coronavirus could cause PV module, battery cell shortages in Australia

As the outbreak takes its toll on solar panel and battery manufacturing in China, Australia is bracing for disruptions in the supply chains.

Downer exits Australian solar sector as risks pile up

As the survival of the fittest continues in Australia’s notoriously competitive EPC market, the Sydney-based diversified infrastructure company has signaled that it will no longer bid fixed prices to build solar.

Big batteries earn $20 million over three months

Against the backdrop of extreme heat, generator, and transmission line outages and intense bushfires, revenues for grid-scale batteries on the National Electricity Market (NEM) have been trending upwards.

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