News

COAG energy ministers sign off on progressing the NEG

Work on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy will continue, with the COAG Energy Council approving its progress today. The detailed policy will be considered by state, federal and territory energy ministers for final approval in August.

A commitment to American manufacturing: An interview with SunPower CEO Tom Werner

In this interview with pv magazine USA SunPower CEO Tom Werner gets into the why and how of his company’s purchase of SolarWorld Americas, and what to expect from SolarWorld’s Oregon factory in the future.

NEG likely to move forward, emission reduction remains sticking point

Signs continue to mount that Friday’s COAG Energy Council meeting will agree to move forward with the National Energy Guarantee mechanism. This comes despite continuing and serious objections from some states to the meagre 26%-on-2005 emission reduction target.

EU grants €5 million to perovskite research consortium

Belgian institute Imec will be the coordinator of a project involving many of Europe’s leading research organizations, which will focus on developing stable, scalable, low cost PV modules based on perovskite technology. The project, named ‘ESPResSo’ has received more than €5 million in funding from the European Union.

Neoen founder, Direct Energie, set to be acquired by Total

The French oil group, which is the parent company of U.S. solar manufacturer SunPower, is set to acquire a 74.33% stake in France’s third largest electric utility Direct Energie. Prominent Australian renewable developer and IPP Neoen was established by Direct Energie in 2008, although it will not be affected by the transaction and will continue to remain “totally independent”.

March rooftop solar installs sets new record, exceeding NEG modelling by 50%

Rooftop PV installation rates in Australia are breaking all previous records. March saw the highest number of rooftop systems ever installed in the country, worth a capacity of some 127 MW.

Australia’s slow march towards a National Energy Guarantee is gathering pace

David Blowers, an Energy Fellow with the Grattan Institute, reports that “solid progress” has been made on the design of the National Energy Guarantee.

Clean Energy Council backs the NEG, with conditions

The CEC has encouraged COAG Energy Council to support the further development of the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in its meeting on Friday. The peak renewables body’s support, however, is contingent on the policy being fleshed out, “and [it] addressing concerns in relation to the emissions target.”

Fraunhofer ISE, Schmid develop production line concept for custom design modules

German research institute Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and equipment supplier Schmid have jointly developed a production for customizable modules for building-integrated projects. According to Fraunhofer ISE, the concepts developed by joint study could reduce the production cost for BIPV modules as much as 35%.

Fast-falling EPC prices make sub-$60/MWh solar feasible

Analysis from Rystad Energy has revealed that sub-$60/MWh utility scale solar projects could be viable in sunny parts of Australia today. The highly competitive EPC landscape has been identified as the major driver of the improving PV power plant economics although, as always, cost of capital remains key.