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Highlights

Is Australia’s solar industry really still shonky? Finn Peacock on the industry’s best and worst bits

Why do you almost never hear about prosecutions for illegal phoenix activity? Why do some Approved Solar Retailers behave so badly? And what remains of Australian solar’s cowboy history?

Australian assets prove pivotal for Neoen’s strong 2020 results

Renewables developer Neoen has released its 2020 results, announcing an 18% increase in revenue from 2019, a significant portion of which materialised from its Australian assets including the Hornsdale big battery.

Cumulative corporate commitments drive demand for 2.8 GW of renewable electricity

Corporate commitments in Australia will drive an estimated 2.8 GW of demand for renewable energy projects, according to a new report from Greenpeace.

Renewables service 70% of WA’s electricity needs the majority of the past week

Western Australia has seen around almost three quarters of its midday summer electricity demands being met by solar and wind generation in five of the past seven days.

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BlackRock crosses the aisle at AGL Energy shareholder meeting, calls for accelerated coal station closures

BlackRock, the $7.3 trillion asset manager and one of AGL Energy’s largest shareholders, broke ranks at AGL’s recent annual shareholder meeting to side with the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s resolution to accelerate the closure of the energy giant’s coal-fired power stations. The move is significant for BlackRock who had so far only talked the talk, but now seems to be walking the walk.

Coalition’s $1.4b ARENA extension cuts solar and wind while enabling fossil fuels

The Australian Government has finally announced new long term funding and an expanded remit for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) beyond 2022. The funding package, which looks more like a cut than anything else, pushes investment away from solar and wind and toward fossil fuel enabling technologies like carbon capture and storage. 

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Long read: White elephant Morrison Government announces gas-led relapse

The Morrison Government has announced its plans for a gas-led recovery including an ultimatum to the private sector that if it doesn’t prop up the gas sector the Government itself would step in to build a new gas-fired power plant in the Hunter Valley and an expanded Australia Gas Hub in QLD. For many experts the announcement reads more like a suicide note than a recovery strategy.

Hobsons Bay City Council set to become first Melbourne metro council to start a VPP

Hobsons Bay City Council is accelerating its Large Scale Solar Installation Program with a Virtual Power Plant to enable the sharing of solar generated energy around the Council’s assets. Going forward, Council wants to see its VPP expanded to include the vast array of members in its community.

Keeping PV panels honest — ACT innovation fund pumps up testing capacity

Michelle McCann and Lawrence McIntosh, the partners behind the solar panel testing facility, PV Lab, in Canberra think of Australia’s PV installations, large and small, as making up a vast virtual power plant. Their goal is to wring the promised performance from panels being sold into the Australian market and the ACT Government has just boosted their chances.

WA colours in 30 regional school rooftops with PV

Call it a school upgrade, a maintenance improvement, a learning opportunity, a right start in life … Western Australia’s Solar Schools Program was launched last week in the Pilbara town of Port Hedland to bring multiple benefits to the quality of student experiences in the state’s regions.

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