Renewable energy technologies like solar and wind are now cost competitive with fossil fuels in many parts of the world, a new HSBC report has found, and will play a critical role in helping meet climate targets to be negotiated in Paris later this year.

The report, “The Rise of Renewables,” says solar and wind energy are becoming mainstream, boosted by a shift away from “green idealism” – that underpinned many renewables subsidy schemes – to “hard economics”, where the costs of the technology will win out over fossil fuels.

The report is a follow-up to HSBC’s recent assessment that fossil fuels investments risk being stranded as a result of climate change policies, changing economics, including plunging commodity prices, and the impact of new technologies such as solar and storage. Read the full article →

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Australia lags behind much of Western world in per-capita renewable capacity

April 27, 2015
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Australia’s record on installed renewable energy, measured on a per capita basis, lags behind North America and most of Europe, a new report has shown. In the HSBC report, The Rise of Renewables, charts show that against Germany – whose renewables penetration, at 1MW per person, leads the world – Australia barely rates, with just […]

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NREL report highlights massive potential for ‘shared solar’ projects

April 24, 2015
Shared solar

Half of all future distributed solar installations could come in the form of “shared solar”, according to a major new report released by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory this week. Shared solar models allow consumers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to install solar to share the benefits of a single PV array, by jointly […]

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Spain’s Gemasolar concentrating solar plant featured in new Peugeot ad

April 24, 2015
Peugeot hybrid

The ground breaking Gemasolar concentrating solar tower power plant in Spain has been used as the backdrop for the latest ad campaign by French car maker, Peugeot. The striking advertisement features Peugeot’s sleek new 308 hybrid – the latest model of what was the world’s first diesel-electric passenger car – curving its way between the heliostats of […]

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Commercial PV Price Index: April 2015

April 23, 2015
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Mirroring the trend observed in residential solar systems, average commercial solar system prices increased slightly between March and April of 2015. The increases were clearest among 10kW systems and less pronounced for 30kW, 50kW and 100kW systems. Prices rose most sharply in Tasmania, while conversely declining in Perth. All prices are net, incorporating incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy […]

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Monitoring Aussie solar output with updated APVI PV map

April 23, 2015
APVI Map

The contribution of Australia’s 1.3 million rooftop solar systems can now be monitored in real time, with the launch of an updated solar mapping service by the Australian PV Institute. The newly enhanced version of APVI’s Live Solar PV Map – a tool originally developed in the lead-up to the Queensland election to track the […]

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China to exceed 2015 PV target thanks to small-scale solar

April 23, 2015
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Uncapped growth in China’s small-scale distributed solar market could see help the country exceed its 2015 PV target of nearly 17.8GW, according to Trina Solar – the world’s number one producer of solar modules. The CFO of the Chinese solar giant made the comment in an interview with Deutsche Bank analysts last week, the CFO […]

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German solar energy production hits new record – over 25,000MW

April 20, 2015

Solar energy generation in Germany has hit a new high, with PV output breaking above 25,000MW for the first time last Wednesday. According to the web-site Montero, electricity produced by solar in Germany reached a record 25,029MW between 13:00 and 13:15 CET on Wednesday, beating the previous record of 24,244 MW, from June last year. […]

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Commercial projects help NSW keep title of top solar state

April 20, 2015

New South Wales has retained its position as Australia’s biggest market for solar PV in the month of March, as the state’s businesses lead the charge to install rooftop solar. A new report from Green Energy Markets shows that growth in the NSW commercial solar market has helped to keep the state in the number […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index: April 2015

April 17, 2015
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Average solar energy system prices have risen for the first time in just under a year, according to pricing data from Solar Choice’s quote comparison platform. The increases took place primarily in Melbourne, Tasmania and (to a lesser degree) Sydney and was observable across all system sizes (1.5kW-10kW). Interestingly, average system sizes actually declined in […]

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Solar contributed record 9.1% to France’s electricity demand on 12 April

April 17, 2015
France solar output

Solar PV provided just under 10 per cent of energy demand in France over the weekend, a record contribution to the nuclear-dominated country’s grid in a week of record output for solar power. Data from France’s grid operator RTE has shown that solar power set a net coverage record on Sunday April 12, accounting for […]

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Over 2,000 Aussie solar jobs lost under Abbott government: ABS

April 17, 2015
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Australia’s solar industry has been the major victim of the more than 2,000 job losses to hit the renewable energy sector in the years since the Abbott government came into power, a new report has found. In its latest report on annual direct full time equivalent (FTE) employment in renewable energy activities in Australia, the […]

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Solar PV improvements changing naysayers’ stance

April 15, 2015
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Those keeping a close eye on the solar market would likely agree that this is a time of change, perhaps even a time of hope. PV technology has matured to a point where electricity retailers around the world are being compelled to engage constructively with pro-PV groups. Early-adopting utilities are finally recognising PV as another […]

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Aussie small-scale solar stays strong even as large-scale lags due to uncertainty

April 15, 2015

Australia’s rooftop solar market is continuing to grow, despite a plunge in renewable energy investment that is driving the nation’s large-scale renewables sector into a deepening crisis. New analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance points to a 90 per cent drop in renewable energy investment in the 12 months to March 31, thanks to policy […]

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177 GW of solar installed worldwide: IEA 2014 snapshot report

April 14, 2015
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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released their ‘2014 Snapshot of Global PV Markets’ report. The published figures state that, as of the end of 2014, there is now a cumulative total of 177 gigawatts (GW) of PV capacity installed worldwide. In 2014 alone there was at least 38.7 GW of PV installed*. Highlights from the report […]

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AEPOL’s Dustech 2 polymer suppresses dust on solar farm sites

April 13, 2015
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Running photovoltaic devices at high efficiencies is a critical challenge in the solar industry, and one of the key roadblocks in this endeavor is dust. Dust accumulates over time on the glass of solar panels and leads to decreases in efficiency – sometimes as much as 40 percent. Fortunately, companies like Australia Engineered Polymers (AEPOL) […]

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Benefits of solar PV tracking systems

April 10, 2015

This article has been reposted with permission from WattClarity. See the original article here. On Thursday 2nd April, just prior to the Easter long weekend, I was fortunate to be able to attend an “Energy Express” seminar hosted by UQ Energy Initiative and the Global Change Institute – at which Professor Paul Meredith presented on […]

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Government’s Energy White Paper focuses on coal, glosses over solar

April 10, 2015
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The Abbott government has again shown its colours on renewables, using its Energy White Paper to describe interventions like the RET and solar feed-in-tariffs as “unintended disruptions” to competitive energy markets. The paper was released by the Coalition government on Wednesday to outline its vision for Australia’s short and long-term energy future. To this end, the […]

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Australia’s Royalla Solar Farm now owned by Saudi Arabian firm

April 10, 2015
Royalla solar farm

Australia’s second-largest solar plant – the under-construction 72MW Moree PV project – is now owned by a company based in the world’s largest oil exporting nation, after Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and Environment Services bought Spanish solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) this week. The Saudi Arabia-based company – a conglomerate that also has a […]

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Australian Anti-Dumping Commission terminates anti-dumping investigation into imported Chinese panels

April 8, 2015
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Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) has ended its investigation into whether imported Chinese solar panels were dumped into Australia. The Commission found that although panels were sold below the cost of production to Australian importers during the investigation period (1 July 2012 – 31 December 2013), the injury caused to domestic panel manufacturers was negligible. The […]

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New joint venture to develop floating solar projects throughout North America

April 8, 2015

Solar Power Inc. (SPI) and Aqua Clean Energy (ACE) last month announced a joint venture to develop new floating solar projects throughout the U.S. and Mexico. The partnership will bring advanced PV technology to various reservoirs, quarry lakes, irrigation canals and tailing ponds across North America, SPI confirmed in a statement Thursday. The two companies […]

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