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Sustainability

Renewables to rise as Labor targets 43% emissions reduction

Federal Labor plans to increase the share of cheap renewable energy in the National Electricity Market to 82% by 2030 as part of its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by the end of the decade if it wins power at the next election.

Australian solar module manufacturer commits to recycling strategy

Reclaim PV has added another partner to its national solar panel recycling and recovery program with South Australian-based manufacturer Tindo Solar committing to a program that will see close to 100% of the solar PV panels that it handles recycled and re-used in the industry.

Western Australia launches $35 million ‘symphony’ of residential renewable assets

Western Australia has today announced the launch of its $35.5 million Virtual Power Plant trial, Project Symphony, which will examine the ways in which residents, utilities, and network operators can join forces to centrally orchestrate the output of rooftop solar, batteries and other distributed resources to best serve both customers and the grid at large.

Germany’s new coalition wants to deploy 143.5 GW of solar this decade

The new plan would require the deployment of around 15 GW of new PV capacity each year to 2030. The agreement also includes the gradual phasing out of all coal power plants by the end of the decade.

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UK business claims to have ‘world’s most sustainable lithium-ion battery’

English manufacturer Aceleron claims every component of its devices can be accessed for replacement, repair or recycling, with the business’ co-founder stating the aim is to ensure ‘100% of the materials in our batteries will continue to be used for as long as possible – preferably forever.’

Novel ways solar can and is being used at Australian airports

Airports are increasingly turning to solar to decarbonise, with ideations ranging all the way from gimmicky solar runways and “dead zone” solar pathways to very real rooftop arrays. Whatever happens, solar certainly has a place at airports with Brisbane airport saving itself somewhere between $20 million to $50 million thanks to the solar system it installed in 2019.

Reuse or replace? Analysis considers all options for underperfoming PV modules

In a new report, experts from the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA-PVPS) have assessed the economical and environmental benefits of repairing and reusing or replacing solar modules that are not complying with a 30-year expected lifetime. They found that reusing offers the best environmental impact in all cases, while the profitability of this option is currently guaranteed only by rooftop PV under certain conditions. As for large-scale solar, module replacement remains the most competitive option.

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Analysts revise up zero-emission vehicle forecast after bumper year

A report published by BloombergNEF for the COP26 climate change summit has listed global commitments by cities, states, provinces and nations to end the sale of new fossil-fuelled vehicles but, with 2035 estimated as the cut-off date for zero-emission roads by mid century, policymakers need to be more ambitious.

Sunday read: Crypto’s energy conundrum

In a financial world of stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and credit cards, trillions of dollars are traded daily, with money flows handled by a bevy of databanks. In the world of cryptocurrency, billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin are traded through as many as 400,000 transactions per day, consuming the energy supply of a modernised country. The quirk is a “proof of work” feature that provides decentralised security. Is Bitcoin’s energy usage all for nothing, or is it a game-changer for renewable assets and generators? Tristan Rayner explores.

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Saturday read: Cloud looms over PV’s silver lining

Should heterojunction solar technologies be temporarily shelved? Could copper plating replace screen-printed silver conductive surfaces in cells? Why are tandem cells a likely successor to PERC? Brett Hallam recently sat down with Natalie Filatoff in Sydney to explain the findings of a new study by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) that sought to answer these controversial questions.

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