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Energy retailer fined $2.5 million after ‘phoney accent’ switch

The Australian retail arm of French renewables giant Engie has been fined $2.5 million after two “rogue” sales contractors allegedly used phoney accents and fake names to switch hundreds of customers to new energy contracts without their consent.

Saturday read: Southeast Asian solar markets emerging from the back of the pack

Southeast Asia could well become the global engine room of renewable energy expansion. Population and economic growth is expected across the three decades in which the world has to decarbonise, but the brimming bounty of renewables deployment will force developers to navigate the region’s systems. As it turns out, that could be a treacherous task.


Biden’s US ban on solar imports from China’s Xinjiang province stirs strong reactions

The Biden Administration’s decision to ban solar imports from four Xinjiang-based polysilicon manufacturers, Hoshine Silicon, Daqo, East Hope, and GCL New Energy Material, has already raised concerns. One analyst warns of a “significant negative impact” across the U.S. solar industry.

What’s been ‘lost’ amid the ‘solar tax’ outrage and how AEMC’s reforms benefit solar customers

As the Australian Energy Market Commission rifles through submissions on its reform package proposal, the Commission’s Chief Executive, Benn Barr, tells pv magazine Australia about some of the “profound changes” which have been overlooked and why he thinks two-way pricing is crucial.

Batteries boom as investment in large-scale renewables slumps to a 5-year low

New data released by the CEC and confirmed by industry experience, shows investors have become shy of committing to large-scale renewable projects in Australia, where government intervention has created uncertainty, and grid risk is virtually impossible to quantify — even with a prized connection agreement in hand.


Victoria bans door-to-door sales for solar companies, introduces $1 million fine for wrongful disconnections

Victoria’s state government has introduced new rules for solar businesses and energy retailers banning on door-to-door sales of products and announcing penalties of up to $1 million for retailers that wrongfully disconnect the electricity of vulnerable Victorians.


Regulator expands fraud detection, introduces new anonymous online tool to growing arsenal

The Clean Energy Regulator has adopted the whistle-blower platform Whispli to allow Australians to report any potential fraudulent or non-compliant behaviour anonymously online. The move comes just after the Regulator joined forces with the Clean Energy Council to launch a taskforce targeting dodgy installers.

Vic Solar cops $3 million fine after thousands targeted with ‘predatory’ tactics

A Victorian solar PV company which swindled thousands of customers out of millions of dollars has been fined a massive $3 million while its sole director has been slapped with a $450,000 penalty and disqualified from being a director of any company for five years.

Australian solar industry remarkably silent as global pressure mounts around allegations of forced labour in supply chain

The solar industry in Europe and the United States is continuing to ramp up the pressure on the use of polysilicon produced in Xinjiang, China – in response to allegations that forced labour is being used in its production. By contrast, the Australian industry’s response has been markedly muted. Although it is true that most global solar industries are heavily reliant on Chinese manufacturing, Australia is overwhelmingly so.


Long-awaited design for Australia’s energy transition published, coal plant subsidy stirs outcry

Two years in the making, Australia’s Energy Security Board today published its shortlist of options for redesigning the electricity market. “Our energy system is experiencing the fastest and most substantial change in the world,” the Board’s Independent Chair, Dr Kerry Schott, said. Addressing this, the paper essentially outlines a number of ways in which Australia could structure its transition to renewables smoothly and reliably. Stakeholders will now be able to provide the feedback on the options before the Board makes it recommendations to ministers in the middle of the year.


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