From an energy-hungry importer to a frontrunner in the decarbonization race, South Australia has set the bar high for how to efficiently transition to a low-emissions grid dominated by renewables. With wind and solar already supplying more than a half of its electricity, the state’s energy transition shows no sign of letting up. In fact, South Australia is gearing up to accelerate the pace of its clean energy transition and expand its big PV fleet as it moves toward its 2030 target of “net” 100% renewables.
No man is an island, but solar PV can at least allow us to live on one without having to rely on the expensive logistical nightmare of diesel fuel supply. More islands around the Asia Pacific are turning to solar PV systems combined with storage to meet their needs.
Swiss investment firm SUSI Partners is investing up to $50 million in a residential solar-plus-battery project enabling participants from communities across Western Australia to generate and consume their own clean power for up to 90% of their needs. The project, which began a year ago, and involves residents leasing solar PV and battery systems from a not-for-profit organisation.
Having verified its technology in projects around the globe, Australian start up Power Ledger is looking to scale its offering to much larger communities. The Australian Energy Market Commission last week proposed a similar agenda.
Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola expands its reach into Australia with a planned 650 MW pipeline of projects just as it also pledges to “relaunch clean energies in Spain”.
The Australia Institute’s National Energy Emissions Audit revealed the disheartening news that growth in diesel consumption, mainly in road transport, has negated gains made in carbon emissions reduction achieved in the NEM. But one Australian automotive-engineering firm has plans to transform the light-to-medium-duty diesel-slurping vehicle sector to run cleanly and quietly on electricity.
Abundant sunshine, favorable policy settings and high power prices have long placed Australia at the cutting edge of rooftop solar uptake. The more recent utility-scale boom has further enhanced its status as a PV leader. Battery adoption, microgrids, EVs and green hydrogen are all taking shape, yet what should be an Aussie smart energy no-brainer continues to be dogged by mounting investment uncertainty and a toxic debate on the national level.
Recent Wood Mackenzie analysis suggests Asia Pacific’s decarbonisation bill could hit US3.5 trillion by 2040. US$3.5 trillion is enough to buy everyone in Sydney a house at Sydney’s inflated housing prices, or alternatively, it’s enough to buy everyone a single avocado toast at a trendy cafe.
A number of massive PV projects have been proposed for Australia’s north, with the concept built around clean power exports to Southeast Asia. Is it Desertec Down Under? Proponents are certainly hoping for more success.
In a deal that can only improve the appeal of renewable energy to the mining industry, Siemens and renewable energy developer juwi have joined forces in a strategic technology partnership set to bring renewable microgrids to the off-grid mine sites.
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