Investment in large-scale solar appears to be faltering in Australia. The technology with the lowest cost, with no emissions and the fastest time to delivery, has often found itself dangling at the oversubscribed end of a limp transmission line, with additional, expensive requirements to connect, or earnings-slashing curtailments when operational. Investors have found no reassurance in the federal government’s winking at coal, courting of gas, and undermining of agencies established to support innovation and investment in renewables. In short, the Australian prime minister is showing a complete lack of urgency to act on climate change. Enter the Renewable Energy Zone.
The Western Australian Government has given environmental approval to the first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a 15 GW hybrid solar and wind plant. The approval is a massive step forward for the project, which will eventually reach 26 GW, and an even larger step forward for green hydrogen development in Australia for domestic use and export.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is chipping in over $700,000 to help Frasers Property Australia build 51 energy efficient homes complete with a solar embedded network. The idea is to demonstrate to the wider housing sector that energy efficient homes can be built at scale and be cost-effective to the customer.
Ikea Adelaide is leading the way for the Swedish giant’s global aspirations towards 100% renewable energy through what is being touted as Australia’s largest grid-connected commercial microgrid. The two stage project boasts a range of unique features which could lay the foundations for a new sustainable energy model for Australia.
A group of Deakin University researchers have won a top gong at Climate Launchpad 2020 with their innovatory sodium battery which they expect to electrify Indonesia’s enormous scooter market within three years and outcompete lithium ion batteries in the near future.
Singapore-based solar plus storage microgrid expert Canopy Power has helped the Batu Batu resort on Malaysia’s Tengah Island reduce its dependence on diesel fuel through the installation of an integrated system which will cover a quarter of its energy needs.
BlackRock, the $7.3 trillion asset manager and one of AGL Energy’s largest shareholders, broke ranks at AGL’s recent annual shareholder meeting to side with the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s resolution to accelerate the closure of the energy giant’s coal-fired power stations. The move is significant for BlackRock who had so far only talked the talk, but now seems to be walking the walk.
In a move which is sure to pan out well for Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia, Aggreko has installed one of Australia’s largest renewable energy microgrids comprising 7.7 MWp of solar energy generation which will integrate with the site’s existing power station. pv magazine sat down with Aggreko’s Managing Director of Microgrids and Storage solutions, Karim Wazni, to discuss how microgrids and energy storage can help transition Australia’s resource sector.
Sustainability-linked debt financing is experiencing ever increasing popularity and the success of green bonds has driven other products linked to social performance and other sustainability criteria. The total volume of such investments to date passed the $2 trillion point this year.
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