Next-generation perovskite solar cells pass strict international tests

Next-generation perovskite solar cells pass strict international tests

Credit: UNSW Australian scientists have for the first time produced a new generation of experimental solar energy cells that pass strict International Electrotechnical Commission testing standards for heat and humidity.

Taylor to loosen Australia’s lax fuel standards to support oil sector

Taylor to loosen Australia’s lax fuel standards to support oil sector

Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor announced on Wednesday that fuel standards under the Fuel Quality Standards Act will be amended to free up stockpiles of unneeded jet fuel for use in other sectors and that the government will spend almost $100 million to purchase oil from the United States.“The temporary change provides Australian refineries with flexibility and can assist them to shore up their viability by helping them resolve some storage and supply issues,” Taylor said.

Australian rooftop solar continues to weather Covid-19 storm – at “very healthy levels”

Australian rooftop solar continues to weather Covid-19 storm – at “very healthy levels”

According to the latest weekly insights data from SunWiz, small-scale solar installations have kept up the pace in terms of new capacity registered nationally, with only Good Friday and Easter Monday dampening figures over the past two weeks.

Australians installed 22,661 home battery systems in 2019

Australians installed 22,661 home battery systems in 2019

(You can purchase a copy here).SunWiz, which has been tracking battery numbers in Australia since 2015, said 2019 home battery uptake was actually slightly down on 2018 numbers, but that an increase in non-residential installations had delivered a new annual record.“This was a record year for battery installation,” managing director Warwick Johnston said in the report of the combined total of 376MWh of new storage capacity added in 2019.

Australian scientists help unlock potential of flexible and wearable solar

Australian scientists help unlock potential of flexible and wearable solar

The 13 per cent efficiency we were able to achieve is one of the highest efficiencies in organic solar cells,” Monash University research fellow Dr Wenchao Huang said.

Researchers use ‘trick of the light’ to eliminate flaws in next-gen solar cells

Researchers use ‘trick of the light’ to eliminate flaws in next-gen solar cells

Australian researchers have developed a new method of using light to detect imperfections materials, that is set to help improve performance and quality of the next-generation solar cells.

How your home battery can help keep the grid stable and prices down

How your home battery can help keep the grid stable and prices down

The data, supplied by Tesla, has been analysed in a knowledge sharing report published by the Australian Energy Market Operator, the first fruit from AEMO’s virtual power plant demonstrations – in this case a South Australia trial with Energy Locals, in a consortium with Tesla.

Recycling giant Visy awarded generation licence for SA solar and battery plant

Recycling giant Visy awarded generation licence for SA solar and battery plant

Australian cardboard packaging and recycling giant Visy has been cleared to send power to the grid from a nearly 2MW rooftop solar and battery storage system the company installed on a facility in Gepps Cross in Adelaide’s north.

Solar inverter and EV charger trial saves thousands driving on sunshine

Solar inverter and EV charger trial saves thousands driving on sunshine

Small business owners Garth James had the unique opportunity of trialling the new inverter from SolarEdge, which was first introduced to the Australian market in late 2019, as reported by The Driven.

John Laing Australian wind and solar asset sale stuck in slow lane

John Laing Australian wind and solar asset sale stuck in slow lane

The large-scale solar and wind generation assets of global infrastructure giant John Laing appear to be proving a harder sell in Australia than in Europe, with the just-launched sale process reported to have been put on hold until the second half of 2020.John Laing confirmed in early March that it was quitting the Australian wind and solar market entirely, after a year of project delays and transmission losses put further investment in the sector firmly in the too-hard basket.

AEMC makes frequency response mandatory for all generators, renewables to be hit with costs

AEMC makes frequency response mandatory for all generators, renewables to be hit with costs

The Australian Energy Market Commission has approved new rules requiring all generators within the National Electricity Market to deliver frequency control services, despite concerns that the new mandatory rules may disproportionately burden wind and solar generators.

North Queensland needs a new link to unlock massive wind and solar resource

North Queensland needs a new link to unlock massive wind and solar resource

The Australian Energy Market Operator, in developing the Integrated System Plan, did not see the need for the North Queensland resource despite the fact that not only is it generally of higher quality but also the wind is negatively correlated with wind in other States.

AEMC appoints Queensland energy bureaucrat Benn Barr as new chief executive

AEMC appoints Queensland energy bureaucrat Benn Barr as new chief executive

The deputy director general of the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Benn Barr, as been appointed as the new chief executive of the Australian Energy Markets Commission, which sets the rules for the country’s energy markets.

AEMC approves Victoria’s request to go it alone on energy reliability reform

AEMC approves Victoria’s request to go it alone on energy reliability reform

The new rules allow the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to enter into longer term, multi-year, contracts under the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) mechanism.

Conservative push for nuclear power will drive a wedge into the Coalition

Conservative push for nuclear power will drive a wedge into the Coalition

The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion.A December 2019 report by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator finds that construction costs for nuclear reactors are 2‒8 times higher than costs for wind or solar.

South Australia separates from NEM, again, as interconnector troubles return

South Australia separates from NEM, again, as interconnector troubles return

In the immediate aftermath of the latest disconnection at the Heywood interconnector, wholesale electricity prices in the South Australian region spiked to more than $5,000 per MWh, and then fell to negative $300 per MWh, as the market operator worked to maintain a balance of supply without the ability to send excess wind and solar generation out of the state.

Cherry Tree wind farm set to start sending power to Victorian grid

Cherry Tree wind farm set to start sending power to Victorian grid

The UK-based John Laing, meanwhile, is reportedly looking to offload its 500MW Australian renewable energy portfolio, having last year reported a write down of £66 million ($A120 million) on three of its projects under construction as a result of changes in marginal loss factors.

Australia’s first detailed database on household solar, batteries and EVs goes live

Australia’s first detailed database on household solar, batteries and EVs goes live

The Australian Energy Market Operator will this weekend launch the nation’s first detailed database on distributed energy resources, as it prepares for a not-too-distant future grid that will source up to half of all its power needs from consumer-owned sources like rooftop solar.

Australian power prices forecast to fall by 7% by 2022 as cost of renewables drops

Australian power prices forecast to fall by 7% by 2022 as cost of renewables drops

In its latest report on the health of the national electricity market, to be released on Monday, the ESB credits new low-cost renewable generation for driving down wholesale prices and warns that severe weather and ageing coal power plants are threatening reliability of supply.

Why an Australian mining giant chose wind and solar over gas for $1 billion project

Why an Australian mining giant chose wind and solar over gas for $1 billion project

It’s basically unheard of in Australia: An Australian mining giant announcing that it will choose wind, solar and battery storage to provide 80 per cent of the power needs of a proposed $1 billion nickel mine in outback Australia.

Equinor ditches plan to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight

Equinor ditches plan to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight

Newly appointed federal resources minister Keith Pitt, meanwhile, described the decision as “extremely disappointing,” and particularly hard for South Australia, but stressed that the Coalition would continue to encourage the development of Australia’s offshore fossil fuel resources – and that the Bight was still open for business.“The Bight remains one of Australia’s frontier basins and any proposals for new oil and gas fields in this area will be assessed daily and independently,” Pitt said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hydrogen potential for local gas networks in SA and Victoria

Hydrogen potential for local gas networks in SA and Victoria

The Australian Hydrogen Centre will also work on feasibility studies focused on 10 per cent blending into the entire state gas networks in South Australia and Victoria.

The Pilbara looks to renewable hydrogen

The Pilbara looks to renewable hydrogen

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $995,000 in funding to Yara Pilbara Fertilisers Pty Ltd (Yara) to support a feasibility study for the production of renewable hydrogen and ammonia.

Coal miners given free ride under Morrison government emissions “caps”

Coal miners given free ride under Morrison government emissions “caps”

Analyst firm Reputex flagged last week that emissions from major Australian industrial polluters had increased by more than 60 per cent over the last 15 years, despite the introduction of the Safeguard Mechanism.“Companies can make grand statements, but right now Australia has no meaningful policy to make sure companies cut emissions to protect our future,” ACF climate campaigner Suzanne Harter said.

South Australia re-connected to main grid as AEMO completes delicate operation

South Australia re-connected to main grid as AEMO completes delicate operation

The South Australia electricity market has been re-connected to the main national grid after the Australian Energy Market Operator completed a delicate operation to “resynchronise” the state using a temporary single line that was completed in little more than two weeks after ferocious storms tore down the main link with Victoria.

Fossil-fuel industry doubles donations to major parties in four years, report shows

Fossil-fuel industry doubles donations to major parties in four years, report shows

The fossil-fuel industry has doubled its donations to the major parties in the past four years, new analysis suggests.A new Australian Conservation Foundation report examining last week’s dump of donations data suggests the coal, oil and gas industry gave $1.9m in 2018-19.

Australian ‘Solar Skin’ invention could power cities and vehicles of the future

Australian ‘Solar Skin’ invention could power cities and vehicles of the future

UNSW researchers have been awarded $3 million in funding to develop innovative ‘solar skin’ technology, that would allow solar power to be generated from coatings applied to the surfaces of buildings, with a total of $11.9 million in funding committed to the research.

Solar and battery “community renewables park” planned for Orange, NSW

Solar and battery “community renewables park” planned for Orange, NSW

Plans to build a large-scale solar and battery storage plant in the central western New South Wales city of Orange have been submitted to the local council by the Australian arm of ITP Renewables.

Tesla's giant home battery is paying for itself much faster than expected

Tesla's giant home battery is paying for itself much faster than expected

Four years ago, Tesla installed its first ever Powerwall battery pack in an Australian household, and now the residing Pfitzner family has revealed just how much of an impact the energy-saving measure has made.

What will Tesla Model Y cost in Australia, and can we afford it?

What will Tesla Model Y cost in Australia, and can we afford it?

As with the release of the Model 3 last year, Australian buyers only have the US prices to work with, and big questions remain about the declining value of the $A, shipping costs, and the ongoing lack of any meaninful incentives in Australia.