New global PV additions reached 94.2 GW in 2018, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Asia is the region with the largest share of cumulative PV capacity, with around 274.6 GW, followed by Europe and North America with 119.3 GW and 55.3 GW, respectively.
With solar panels already installed on dozens of its buildings, the City of Sydney has upped the ante with the goal to source 100% of its electricity needs from solar PV and wind. The commitment has been endorsed by Council this week, and a new 100% renewable electricity contract will be negotiated in the coming months.
Solar has grown so much that its output exceeded brown coal and gas over the summer months, between 9am to 5pm. New analysis by Green Energy Markets shows that across the whole of summer, renewable energy produced 128% more megawatt-hours of electricity than gas and 23% more than brown coal.
The Coalition government has announced funding to support up to 50 off-grid and fringe-of-grid feasibility studies investigating whether building a microgrid can be a cost-effective solution. The studies will also look at whether existing off-grid capabilities can be upgraded with more up-to-date technology.
New polling from The Australia Institute shows that almost 70% of South Australian voters regardless of political leanings want to see the state transition to 100% renewable energy by the year 2030.
If re-elected on Saturday, the NSW Coalition will change strata laws to reduce the minimum votes needed to install solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points in strata buildings. The government has also pledged to give $20 million more funding to the Emerging Energy Program and $10 million in funding for a solar panel and battery recycling program.
Horizon Power, Western Australia’s regional power provider, has commenced the second stage of its Onslow microgrid project, which will provide local residents and businesses with access to low-cost solar and energy storage systems. German storage provider Senec has been chosen to supply batteries to the project.
Labor’s Sunday solar schools announcement may not be the last renewables pledge it makes to win the hearts and minds of the NSW electorate. It takes into account the voice of climate-striking students, and every disaffected-teenage contribution to conversations around the dinner table.
The latest report from The Australia Institute corroborates solar’s pivotal role in shaving peak demand, particularly in the event of extreme conditions as seen in January. Renewables performed the best of all energy sources during the record-breaking summer of heatwaves, while coal clunkers were operating well below capacity, the findings confirm.
Stating NSW was once a world leader on climate change, a new Climate Council report notes the state is now far behind being home to Australia’s oldest fleet of coal-fired power generators. While NSW public is highly supportive of renewable energy, state government policies fail to encourage more wind and solar projects beyond 2020.
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