Opinion & Analysis

Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled? The cost of recycling is higher than landfill, and the value of recovered materials is smaller than the original, so there’s limited interest in recycling. But given the presence of heavy metals, such as lead and tin, if waste is managed poorly, we’re on track for another recycling crisis. A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

IEEFA Australia: Investing in CCS and relying on voluntary action on emissions is revisiting the olden days

The government’s Climate Solutions Fund offers little hope for financial-industry backers of a Paris aligned economic recovery writes Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies with IEEFA Australasia

Renewables to drive a clean recovery from Covid-19

While covid-19 will cause a lot of short-term pain, it presents us with a unique opportunity to accelerate the clean energy transition.

Zero-emissions solutions are ready to roll, right when the economy needs them most

A major new report finds there is a pathway to zero emissions for every major economic sector in Australia. Over 18 months in the making, Decarbonisation Futures offers fresh ideas for how Australia can embrace the zero-emissions future that is visible on the other side of the pandemic, writes Amandine Denis-Ryan of ClimateWorks Australia.

Impact of Covid-19 on the global energy sector

Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global economic and social crisis. The pandemic has significantly affected all aspects of life, including the energy sector.

Decommissioning coal – an opportunity for energy storage?

Coal has underpinned power generation for more than a century as a cheap, reliable and well understood technology, writes IHS Markit analyst George Hilton. Decommissioning of coal generation, in light of global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, will radically change the energy landscape and potentially leave a substantial gap to be filled by energy storage technologies.

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Testing reveals what matters in batteries

An independent testing program for battery systems has revealed what failures can occur, and the key factors that underpin reliable battery operation and supply. Canberra-based ITP Renewables is carrying out the testing program and reports on its first two phases.

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Do you know the difference between Virtual Inertia and Fast Frequency Response?

Virtual inertia is a fundamentally different mechanism to fast frequency response (FFR).

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Understanding LeTID

Light- and elevated temperature-induced degradation (LeTID) of PV cells can have far-reaching impacts on the efficiency of modules. Alison Ciesla and Brett Hallam of the University of New South Wales argue that accelerated testing, such as that included in the forthcoming IEC standards, is critical for LeTID identification and quantification in order to manage these impacts.

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Global coal generation fell by a record amount in 2019, while COVID-19 may cause bigger fall in 2020

Short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic on electricity markets are still unclear.

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