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Opinion & Analysis

VNI West Project could delay the retirement of coal generators

Analysis conducted by Cornwall Insight Australia reveals that certain coal plants in New South Wales may benefit from delaying their retirement, following the release of new plans for the VNI West transmission project.

Using electric water heaters to store renewable energy could do the work of 2 million home batteries

Australia’s energy transition is well under way. Some 3 million households have rooftop solar and sales of medium-sized electric cars are surging. But as we work towards fully electric households powered by renewable energy, have we overlooked a key enabling technology, the humble electric water heater?


Community batteries are popular – but we have to make sure they actually help share power

To power Australia without fossil fuels will mean using batteries to store power from solar and wind. We often think this means home batteries – or large grid-scale installations.

Why reform to Australia’s transmission regulations is urgent

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has renewed its calls for a fast-tracking of new transmission links, saying that parts of the country’s main grid are effectively in gridlock and causing unprecedented amounts of wind and solar to be curtailed.

Why Australia needs friends (and a climate AUKUS) to reach its climate goals

AUKUS has been widely hailed as Australia’s largest-ever defence investment and the Quad as a new focus for defence strategy – but what do they mean for our energy landscape? SMA’s Joshua Birmingham argues it’s time to look beyond defence cost and grow our relationships to fight the climate change war.

Green hydrogen funding a step forward – but a step doesn’t win race

It sounds like a lot. Kickstarting green hydrogen in Australia with $2 billion (USD 1.35 billion) to subsidise early production and making the energy-dense gas competitive. A goal of up to a gigawatt of electrolyser capacity within seven years.


How to turn 450,000-tonne mountain of used solar panels into a valuable asset

There were an estimated 100 million individual solar panels in Australia at the end of 2022. We estimate this number will likely grow to over 2 billion if we are to meet Australia’s 2050 net-zero emissions target. This growth means Australia is facing a 450,000-tonne mountain of used PV panels by 2040.

It’s the Liddell things that matter

AGL Energy last week shut its Liddell coal-fired power station in the Upper Hunter, ending generation from the site after more than five decades. Cornwall Insight Australia energy market analyst intern Darshitha PP takes a look at how the grid coped after the unit went offline.


Why green ammonia may not be that green

Ammonia has been in the news because of its suitability as a hydrogen carrier and fuel, in addition to being a vital ingredient in fertiliser. Existing distribution networks and the ease of turning ammonia gas into a liquid make ammonia a cost-effective way to transport renewable energy.

Predictability of regions’ renewable resources has a material impact on project profits, study finds

While many forecasting tools have been developed to improve forecasts of renewable generation, their accuracy is limited by the inherent predictability of the data used – that is, how predictable the renewable resource is in different regions and times of the year. University of Adelaide researcher Sahand Karimi explains why predictability matters and how considering it can save consumers and investors millions of dollars.

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