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PV Expo 2023: Japanese solar’s struggle for space

PV Expo and the wider Smart Energy Week wrapped up in Tokyo last week. It revealed ambitious plans for solar and energy storage installations in Japan, including creative approaches to dealing with a severe lack of space for new installations, which should bring plenty of opportunities for domestic and international players.

Investment ‘boom’ in Australia sees utility-scale jump 50%, puts targets within reach

New investment in solar and wind hit a record 7.1 GW in Australia in 2022, with the Clean Energy Regulator reporting a 50% increase in large-scale projects reaching final investment decision compared to 2021. In total, 5.3 GW of new renewable energy capacity was added to the grid in 2022, according to the Regulator’s State of Renewables report.

Europe to launch hydrogen auctions

The European Commission says it will set up the new European Hydrogen Bank by the end of this year, with additional plans to hand out 10-year contracts in a new hydrogen auction. Meanwhile, Fortescue Future Industries is setting up a project in Kenya.

Australian rooftop solar hits 20 GW

Australia’s rooftop solar capacity has passed the 20 GW threshold, according to analysis from solar consultancy SunWiz. Solar will subsequently overtake coal-fired capacity in April, when a New South Wales coal power station closes – making PV the country’s largest power generator.


Lightsource bp looks to sell package of Australian solar farms

Global solar developer Lightsource bp is reportedly testing buyer interest in five Australian projects, hiring Macquarie Capital to run early-stage market soundings on the deal which could potentially be worth around $1 billion (USD 670 million).

Origin takeover revived after Brookfield revise offer

The Brookfield-led North American consortium courting Origin Energy has finally come back with a revised bid for the company, valued at roughly $18.2 billion (USD 12.5 billion). The offer is only fractionally lower than the initial bid, which came as a relief for the market, and has been endorsed by Origin’s board.


Novel design for high-power PEM fuel cells

UNSW Sydney researchers have developed an algorithm to enhance images of PEM fuel cells, meanwhile South Korean researchers have revealed a scalable production method for platinum-based fuel cell catalysts. Germany has moved forward on its hydrogen strategy by signing agreements with Australia, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Longi releases new alkaline electrolyser

China’s Longi claims that its new ALK Hi1 electrolyser can produce hydrogen with an energy content of 4.3 kWh per normal cubic meter. It says the levelised cost of hydrogen could be up to 2.2% lower than other electrolysers on the market.

Europe introduces new green hydrogen rules

The European Commission has presented the final version of its new rules for green hydrogen, with looser requirements to qualify hydrogen as “green.”

Australia posts near-record period for utility PV generation

Australia’s large-scale solar farms generated a near-record 1,463 GWh of clean energy during the month of January, just shy of the 1,509 GWh produced in December, according to the latest data from international consultancy firm Rystad Energy.

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