Investment in Australian renewable energy capacity fell 40% in 2019 down from record-breaking levels seen in the year before, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Spending on large-scale renewables dropped dramatically due to network woes and long-term policy uncertainty but was ameliorated by the rooftop solar segment’s record growth.
University of Queensland researchers have quantified the amount of on-site renewable energy generation utilised by the nation’s water industry. The results are interesting if not already anachronistic due to the rapid pace of advancement in the world of solar PV.
South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier is planning to invest more than $300 million in solar and energy storage during the course of this year as it moves closer to its ambitious goal of achieving a zero cost energy future.
Comet-ME has developed a solar-powered submersible borehole piston pump for off-grid communities and smallholders to use for irrigation and domestic purposes. The device, compatible with PV systems from 300-900 W in size, can pump water from 45m with as little as 50 W of continuous solar power.
Australian retail property major Vicinity Centres has delivered two solar carparks at its shopping centers in South Australia, one of which is the nation’s biggest at 3.2 MW. One of the centers also has a solar battery trial underway and both will have EV charging stations as of next year.
The Nova Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Operation mine in the Fraser Range of Western Australia is now operating with fewer costs and emissions thanks to Zenith Energy’s hybrid solar PV-diesel power plant. The plant provides a litany of firsts, including being the first hybrid solar PV-diesel project completed without a single government subsidy.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has come together with private sector infrastructure fund manager Infradebt to invest in smaller utility-scale renewable energy projects for community and commercial energy users. The move aims to close an investment gap for projects of 25 MW or less.
The new StorEnergy centre – supported with a $4.4 million Federal Government grant – will produce battery materials on a commercial scale and seek to increase knowledge and develop innovative solutions for Australia’s energy needs.
To fill the gap left by retiring coal-fired plants, the Australian Energy Market Operator forecasts that Australia should invest in a further 30-47 GW of new large-scale wind and solar projects by 2040. At the end of the outlook period, AEMO projects that distributed energy resources could provide up to 13% to 22% of total underlying annual NEM energy consumption.
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