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Dodgy solar installer convicted after CER investigation

Former solar installer Gavin Brady has been convicted by a Victorian magistrate after an investigation by the Clean Energy Regulator found he falsely claimed to have installed 11 solar systems. When converted to Small-scale Technology Certificates, those false claims were worth $50,000 (USD 35,500).

Weekend read: Shining a light on supply chains

The drivers for PV supply-chain traceability could rub against a solar industry enjoying a true seller’s market, with demand outstripping supply. However, supply-chain auditing services are gaining support in increasingly regulated environments. pv magazine’s Tristan Rayner has spoken to a number of auditing experts about how they shine a light on often-opaque operations.

US court rules in favour of Q Cells in patent dispute with REC

The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board has issued a favourable decision for Hanwha Q Cells over REC Solar’s patent claims. The court has ruled that the contested claims of REC’s U.S. patent were not patentable. The decision is similar to those in courts in China and Europe, according to Q Cells.

Solar installers left with ‘hand grenade’ from bloated manufacturer warranties

In the last years, warranties on solar panels have ballooned up to 40 years, but far from inspiring trust, these documents can end up eroding it. Described as a “hand grenade,” some installers claim manufacturers’ unrealistic installation manuals and poor claiming processes leave them in the lurch when equipment breaks. “I think its the biggest threat to the longevity of my business,” Mark Cavanagh, owner of Queensland-based MC Electrical tells pv magazine Australia.

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Labor outlines reform package for Australia’s ‘biggest climate policy’

Proposed changes to one of Australia’s most consequential emissions reductions policies, the Safeguard Mechanism, have been announced by Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen. “This is the biggest climate policy that they nation will be debating this year so it’s very important it’s done right,” Glenn Walker, head of advocacy and strategy at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, told pv magazine Australia.

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Guidelines for First Nations engagement ‘determined to really lift the standard’

The First Nations Clean Energy Network, a group launched in November 2021 to ensure Indigenous communities share in the benefits from renewables, is releasing new guides to help industry and government engage with First Nations communities.

LG solar battery recall expanded, NSW reports battery fire spike

The ACCC, Australia’s consumer watchdog, has begun contacting almost 5,000 households as part of an updated recall on LG solar batteries prone to overheat and catch fire, with the watchdog noting the dangerous products may fall under various brand names. The news comes as NSW Fire and Rescue reported a massive spike in battery fires for 2022.

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Forced labour concerns prompt U.S. ports to block over 1,000 shipments of solar components

Panel shipments collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars are blocked from entering the United States market as they have failed scrutiny under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, said Reuters.

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Western Power agrees to increase electricity for regional households following fallout

Western Power will begin allocating regional properties in Western Australia’s main grid the same electricity supply as their urban counterparts. The shift comes after sustained community pressure since pv magazine Australia first reported on the issue in July 2022.

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Fortescue plans additional 2 GW to 3 GW of renewables as part of $9.2 billion investment

Australian-based mining giant Fortescue Metals Group has announced it will deploy an additional 2 GW to 3 GW of renewable energy generation and battery storage as part of a more-than $9 billion plan to decarbonise its iron-ore operations by 2030.

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