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Sustainability

Weekend read: Automate, foldout for a ultra-low-cost solar future

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.

Independent tool providing answers to complexities of home solar, storage launched

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.

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Tindo’s sales skyrocket as consumers turn to homegrown solar

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.

Rio Tinto plans $600 million spend to ramp up renewables plan in Pilbara

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.

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Guidelines for First Nations engagement ‘determined to really lift the standard’

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.

Acciona announces new 1 GW project in Sunshine State

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.

Councils commit to solar-driven renewable energy power plan

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.

Building renewables emits carbon, but building them faster emits far less

A new study by Columbia University’s Climate School looks at the carbon emissions needed to build renewable energy.

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Does Australia have the stomach to become a critical minerals superpower?

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.

Weekend read: A sustainability swan song

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.