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What lies ahead for the NEM in 2020? Some lessons from 2019

After a leisurely break over the holiday period, I have returned to my desk to get right back into the analysis of what I think will be a pretty exciting year for the NEM. Connection difficulties, commissioning delays and stubbornly high storage costs point to uncertainty on the supply side, while strong rooftop uptake continues to whittle out daytime operational demand.

How good is solar farming?

The breadth and depth of detail in the GSD2019 (to be released today) reveals any number of important insights into the supply side of the NEM. One theme that stood out for me as I reviewed the data was the set of challenges facing the NEM’s most recent crop of new entrant generators – utility-scale solar farms – as they come to grips with the messy reality of the electricity market.

Green hydrogen costs projected to decrease by up to 60% by 2030

A new report from Hydrogen Council predicts that the cost of renewable hydrogen production will fall drastically by up to 60% over the coming decade due to the declining costs of renewable electricity generation and the scaling up of electrolyzer manufacturing. Thanks to its optimal renewable resources, Australia will be among the countries most favorably placed to contribute to the development of the hydrogen economy.

New Tasmanian Premier to take on Climate Change with renewables

Peter Gutwein is the new Premier of Tasmania and the first Tasmanian Liberal Minister for Climate Change. The Premier, who has a history of rebelliousness to the party line, seeks to lead Tasmania to a renewable energy future.


Solar PV brings new energy to “Bidgy” on WA’s Kimberley coast 

Bidyadanga, an Indigenous community established where sunburned red earth meets the shimmering turquoise sea, has begun its transition from diesel-generated energy to solar power under a scheme introduced by Horizon Power, Western Australia’s regional electricity supplier.

Long-weekend read: PV pulls water from thin air

This long Australia Day weekend, Australians may be considering what it takes to survive on their continent. One company based in arid Arizona has partnered with ARENA to demonstrate how solar PV can combine with other technologies to solve some of the country’s biggest problems — take a sip of Renewables 2.0. 


Long read: Nothing simple about GPS

Changing rules mean that many utility-scale PV projects in Australia are facing long delays in achieving full generation – known as “obtaining GPS.” The consequences can be costly.


Advanced energy storage, green hydrogen research win government funding

Curtin University research that aims to develop a new way of producing, storing and exporting green hydrogen from Australian resources, UNSW Sydney’s efforts to develop novel cathode coating materials towards more durable and powerful energy storage devices and Monash University’s investigation into phase change materials for wind and solar energy storage are among 18 new research collaborations supported by funding through the Australian Research Council.


Taylor changes tune: Australia to reach 48% renewables by 2030

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has confirmed that Australia is on its way to hit nearly 50% renewables share by 2030, the target deemed economically suicidal by the Coalition during the last election. With no mention of the widely-reported massive drop in renewable energy investment, Taylor hailed 2019 as a new record year for renewables in Australia.


SA-NSW interconnector gets regulatory go-ahead to unlock slew of renewable energy projects

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has given its tick of approval to the proposed $1.53 billion electricity interconnector between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. The new transmission line holds the promise of reducing power bills in both states by unlocking gigawatts of planned renewable energy projects in its close proximity.


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