New-build solar PV has been identified by German researchers as one of two market-ready renewable energy sources that can generate electricity for up to 50 percent cheaper than new-build nuclear.

The study, which compares feed-in tariffs for nuclear in the UK with FiTs for renewables in Germany, concludes that solar PV, along with wind energy, is cheaper than both nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CSS) in terms of low-carbon energy strategies for preventing climate change. Read the full article →

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AEMC to introduce new, streamlined processes for connecting solar to the grid

April 23, 2014
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Australia’s national energy regulator has given the nod to electricity market reforms that will make it cheaper, easier and faster for households and business to invest in and install clean and renewable energy systems such as rooftop solar PV. The reforms will be introduced to the NEM in October, after being adopted last week by […]

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Australian households lead the way in solar PV investment

April 22, 2014
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Australian households accounted for nearly two-thirds of total investment in renewables in Australia in 2013, and virtually all of it in 2014, according to research by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The new data, released this week by Pew Charitable Trusts, shows that of a total of $4.4 billion of clean energy investment in Australia in […]

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Combined solar PV and bio-fuel farms: The best of both worlds?

April 22, 2014
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What’s better than a solar farm that produces electricity from the sun? Well, a solar farm that produces electricity and biofuels from the sun, of course! A recent Stanford study shows that growing agave and other select plants amid photovoltaic panels could allow solar farms to not only produce crops for biofuels but can also […]

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Solar power: a space-time gift from the universe on your roof

April 18, 2014
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The benefits that solar power provides are well documented; saving money, fixed electricity costs and lowering your global footprint. Just the other day, I was reminded just how incredible the whole concept is by my two young boys who have a growing interest in science. “It’s just so amazing dad, why doesn’t everyone use it?” […]

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Macquarie Group awarded electricity retail licence

April 18, 2014
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Just months after revealing plans to start a solar leasing business in Australia, Macquarie Group has been awarded an electricity retail license. Macquarie, who last December committed nearly $200 million to the solar leasing industry in the UK, says its initial plan for Australia is to use the licence to service large customers only. And while it […]

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Outlook of China’s solar market

April 17, 2014
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Continued uncertainty around China’s solar policy means the achievement of its 2014 solar target of 14GW “could be challenging,” according to a new report from Deutsche Bank. The report, published on Monday, said analyst meetings with Chinese solar companies had confirmed the bank’s earlier view that the country’s ambitious installed solar goal could be out of […]

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ICCP reports: scale up renewable energy for decarbonisation

April 16, 2014
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that renewable energy sources such as wind and solar must lie at the core of a massive decarbonisation of the world’s electricity systems to meet climate change mitigation targets. The IPCC this week delivered the results of its Working Group III, the last of its seven-year […]

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Solar solution for apartment owners

April 15, 2014
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Australia has one of the highest per capita and rooftop penetration rates of solar power in the world.  Our position at the top of the rankings is largely because we have historically had strong support programs and more recently, dramatic increases in electricity rates which make solar a fantastic financial proposition. However, so far the […]

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Solar’s rise to dominance closer than we think

April 15, 2014
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The use of solar power is increasing at a prodigious rate around the world and Australia is no exception. In fact solar’s growth may be have already reached an unforeseen tipping point, according to American inventor and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil formulated what he called the ‘law of accelerating returns’ after having studied numerous technology […]

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Panasonic breaks silicon efficiency record after 15 years with a 25.6% efficient HIT cell

April 14, 2014
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After a run of nearly 15 years, the record efficiency for silicon solar cells was finally broken last week. Panasonic Corporation announced last Thursday (10 April 2014) that it has achieved a conversion efficiency of 25.6% with its hetero-junction silicon solar technology (HIT). This represents a 0.6% improvement in efficiency over the incumbent PERL (Passivated […]

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Rules for filing a development application for a solar PV system in NSW

April 12, 2014
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Anyone planning on going solar in NSW will need to file certain paperwork to get their system connected to the electricity grid. The exact requirements for getting grid-connected will vary with the solar customer’s network operator (Essential Energy is one example who we’ve written about previously), but fortunately this is fairly straightforward for most small-scale […]

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Australia’s RayGen secures funds to manufacture concentrating PV technology

April 12, 2014
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Australian solar technology start-up RayGen has signed a $60 million equity and manufacturing deal to help accelerate a technology that it believes will generate $1 billion in sales by 2020. The Melbourne-based RayGen is a developer of concentrated solar PV (CSPV) technology, which users computer‐controlled mirrors to direct a concentrated beam of sunlight onto ultra‐efficient […]

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Solar forecasting & solar system performance modeling services by Reuniwatt

April 12, 2014
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The world’s electricity mix is changing much more rapidly than could have been anticipated just a decade ago. As renewable energy sources like wind and solar power grow to take up an ever-larger share of the world’s electricity generation portfolio, it becomes increasingly important to know what to expect from them–preferably as far in advance […]

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Sun MonitOZ: Solar system performance app (Currently seeking beta-testers)

April 11, 2014
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The popularity of rooftop solar power systems has soared globally in recent years, and Australia remains one of the global leaders for home solar uptake. This is due in part to the fact that solar power is more affordable here than in many parts of the world, thanks to federal government incentives & competition between […]

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Victoria Greens launch campaign to stand up for rooftop solar owners

April 10, 2014
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Victoria’s Green Party has announced a campaign to support the rights state’s current and would-be solar-powered households, which already number over 207,000. If just one in 10 solar system owners change their vote, Victoria Greens chief Greg Barber says, this could have the potential to sway an election. In a speech at the opening of […]

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$5 billion of US rooftop solar will be crowd-funded by 2019

April 10, 2014
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The US rooftop solar market could be crowd-funded to the tune of $5 billion within five years, according to an executive from SolarCity, America’s biggest solar provider by market value. To date, the crowdfunding model – in which rooftop PV developers solicit funds directly from retail investors, often through websites which tap a large number of […]

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Suntech, finalising takeover details, officially announces its return

April 9, 2014
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After a restructuring period, Wuxi Suntech has officially announced that the details of its acquisition by Shenfung Photovoltaic International have been finalised as of 7 April, and the company is fully back in business. In an email announcing the news, Suntech CEO Erik Luo expressed excitement and optimism about the development, which has been in […]

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Energy storage both opportunity & threat as regional grid operators look to shrink assets

April 9, 2014
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The head of Australia’s Energy Networks Association has predicted that grid operators in Queensland and Western Australia are likely to offload some of their extensive “poles and wires” networks. The move will likely pave the way for new players who can invest in min-grids that are based around solar PV and energy storage. Australia, because […]

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Why Perth’s POST newspaper installed a 30kW solar system

April 9, 2014
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Perth’s POST newspaper is a perfect case study of a business that decided to go solar to fight rapidly ballooning power bills. The independent, privately-owned, Shenton Park-based newspaper made the decision to have a system installed just this January, and has already seen substantial savings. The POST had first investigated the possibility of having a […]

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Decline in renewable energy investment thanks in part to falling prices

April 9, 2014
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Surging solar installations and the plunging cost of PV have helped buoy growth in global renewable energy capacity, despite a 14 per cent drop in clean energy investment in 2013, a report has found. Released on Monday, the joint report by UNEP, the Frankfurt School, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said renewables accounted for 44 […]

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