While the efficiency of solar cells will always be important, scaling innovation in sustainable cell technology and solar deployment, is the new game in town. With hydrogen exports and production of green metals in its sights, Australia has some breakthrough tech coming down the pike, as pv magazine Australia’s Natalie Filatoff reports.
A free version of SunSPOT, a tool for tailored guidance on the ideal solar and battery set ups, has now been launched. Developed by APVI and UNSW, the online tool allows users to calculate size, cost and potential savings from household renewable systems and is the only such platform offering this information without a sales motive.
Australia’s only solar panel manufacturer, Tindo Solar, has announced a doubling of sales for both solar panels and battery storage in recent months. The manufacturer attributes the boom to the concatenation of rising energy costs, a potential recession, and increasing consumer awareness about the importance of buying quality products.
Resource-sector heavyweight Rio Tinto is planning to invest $600 million (USD 402 million) building two new solar farms and battery energy storage systems in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of the company’s efforts to decarbonise its iron ore operations.
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.
Queensland will be home to what the state government claims will be one of the largest onshore wind projects in the world after Spanish renewable energy giant Acciona Energia announced plans to develop a new 1 GW project in the state’s southwest.
Seven New South Wales local councils have united to secure a long-term electricity purchasing agreement utilising the 115 MW Metz Solar Farm which will deliver enough renewable energy to allow the participating councils’ facilities and assets to transition to 100% renewables in a staged approach from January 2023.
A new study by Columbia University’s Climate School looks at the carbon emissions needed to build renewable energy.
With the US offering tremendous capital to “friendshore” its renewable supply chains, the cofounder of a major renewables investor, David Scaysbrook, says President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act could turn Australia into a critical mineral and rare earth powerhouse. “The question is, do we have the stomach for that?” Scaysbrook asks. For Tim Buckley, director of Climate Energy Finance, it’s a matter of the government taking a whole system approach and going early.
Pioneering PV researcher Martin Green has received an abundance of accolades over his 50-year career of fundamental solar research with teams at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). That contribution was further recognised on Sept. 26, when he picked up the WCPEC-8 Award in Milan, Italy. Green spoke with pv magazine about the role of technologies such as PERC cells and his efforts to advance non-toxic thin film semiconductors for the tandem cells of the future.