Posts by author:

Giles Parkinson

Even IEA says coal boom is dead, hails the solar age

November 14, 2017

The International Energy Agency has called the end of the coal boom, and hailed the age of solar, in its latest annual World Energy Outlook. The report, long considered the industry bible for the fossil fuel sector, says that if the world does act in accordance with the long term Paris targets, coal is dead […]

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Jinko Solar breaks world efficiency record for PERC solar cells: 23.45%

November 13, 2017
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Chinese solar manufacturer JinkoSolar says it has broken its own world record for P-type monocrystalline PERC solar cell efficiency, with a new benchmark of 23.45 per cent. The new record, announced at the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) this week beat the previous record of 22.78 per cent, set in October. JinkoSolar, which is the […]

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Australian solar on track for a record year following ‘massive’ October

November 10, 2017

Australian homes and businesses installed more than 100MW of new rooftop solar capacity for the month of October, up from 97MW in September, and almost guaranteeing a record 1GW-plus total for the year. Solar industry analysts SunWiz have reported another “massive” month of small-scale solar installs, totalling 107MW, and pushing the nation’s total installed capacity […]

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German battery maker sonnen to launch microgrid for NSW estate

November 10, 2017
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A new Australian housing estate that will use solar and battery storage to create a kind of suburban microgrid is set to be announced by German home battery storage giant sonnen. In a visit to Australia this week, sonnen CEO Philip Schroeder said the SonnenCity concept – which is also being rolled out in Arizona, […]

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National Energy Guarantee proposal raises red flags for renewables

November 10, 2017

The mainstream media may have embraced Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee, but analysts see red flags all over the place. Here are some reasons why people should be concerned. It looks a lot like a de-facto carbon price: Energy analysts say it is a little early to tell, because there are no actual details, but […]

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Rooftop solar pushes WA grid demand to 8-year low

November 6, 2017
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Western Australia has charted its lowest levels of grid electricity demand in more than eight years, thanks to the state’s fast moving uptake of rooftop solar. In yet another example of how the distributed solar PV is is hollowing out demand during the middle of the day, WA recorded on Sunday 29 October its lowest […]

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Whyalla steel city goes green with 1GW of solar and storage

November 2, 2017
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UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has announced massive investments in solar and storage that will knock 40 per cent off electricity costs for his newly acquired Australian steel business. Gupta said on Monday he would build 1GW of dispatchable renewables – a suite of technologies including solar, battery storage, pumped hydro and demand management – in […]

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Sonnen announces ‘suburban microgrid’ model for new-build Australian estates

October 25, 2017
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A new Australian housing estate that will use solar and battery storage to create a kind of suburban microgrid is set to be announced by German home battery storage giant Sonnen. In a visit to Australia this week, Sonnen CEO Philip Schroeder said the SonnecCity concept – which is also being rolled out in Arizona, […]

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Household savings from National Energy Guarantee to be minimal over 12 years

October 18, 2017
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Malcolm Turnbull’s new energy policy will see little reduction in consumer energy bills over the next decade, and that’s outrageous. In an era where renewable energy costs are plunging, where the costs of rooftop solar are about one-sixth the cost of grid power, Australians are paying absurd prices for their electricity – upwards of 40c/kWh […]

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Small-scale solar systems help save electricity sector billions: Study

October 17, 2017
Costs with and without small-scale solar

A new study has claimed that without Australia’s more than 6GW of rooftop solar capacity, the aggregate cost of electricity would have been several billion dollars higher over the past year. The study by Energy Synapse, commissioned by Solar Citizens, reinforces previous estimates of the broad benefits of the more than 1.7 million household and […]

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Global energy industry at ‘tipping point’ for coal, wind & solar: BNEF

September 28, 2017
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The global energy industry is experiencing two major tipping points that mean coal will never be great again, and the age of wind and solar has arrived. Speaking at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s annual get-together in London last week, founder Michael Liebreich said the first tipping point – which were are living now – is […]

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South Australian rooftop solar pushes state-wide electricity demand to record low

September 13, 2017

South Australia’s high rooftop solar penetration has helped to deliver record low demand for the state over the weekend, hitting 786MW at around 2pm on Sunday.At the time, rooftop solar accounted for 36 per cent (445MW) of electricity demand in the state, generated by the 761MW of small-scale rooftop solar on homes and businesses in the state. South […]

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Pro-battery changes to energy market rules delayed to 2021

September 5, 2017

The Australian Energy Market Commission’s decision to put off changing the settlement period for the electricity spot price has been slammed by leading experts, who say the delay will reinforce the position of incumbent fossil fuel generators and delay the entry of crucial new technologies. The rule change, that would cut the settlement period for […]

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SA to install 30MW battery bank

August 25, 2017
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South Australia is set to install another large-scale battery storage system, this time to be located on the Yorke Peninsula in, as part of a renewables-based mini-grid with the nearby Wattle Point wind farm. The $30 million, 30MW/80MWh project, which will get $12 million grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, is the result of […]

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Tesla slams South Australia’s proposed security target

August 11, 2017

South Australia’s proposed energy security target has been slammed by Tesla as a “relic” that incentivises old energy technology over new, including the kind of grid-scale lithium-ion battery system that the US giant is building in the state. The proposed EST, designed by Danny Price from Frontier Economics, has attracted broad criticism for a design that […]

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Graph of the Day: Tesla battery popular on both sides of politics

August 1, 2017
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While support for Australia’s shift to renewable energy can sometimes be split down party lines, new data has shown that support for one of the key enabling technologies, battery storage, enjoys strong bi-partisan support among the Australian public. In particular, support is strong for the recently announced “world’s biggest lithium-ion battery” project that the South […]

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Report describes Australian electricity utopia – that doesn’t seem to exist

July 24, 2017
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A new report from Australia’s principal electricity market rule-maker has sought to portray a utopian image where consumers believe they are getting value for money and face only one blight on the horizon – the Renewable Energy Target. The Australian Energy Market Commission’s Retail Energy Competition Review, issued on Tuesday, puts the level of customer satisfaction as gauged by […]

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Aussie businesses failing to reap benefits of cheap renewables: Report

July 21, 2017
Renewables used by businesses

A new report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has found that less that half of Australian businesses actually source any renewable energy at all, and if they do, it supplies less than 10 per cent of the user. According to the same ARENA report, the top reason cited by Australian business for using more renewables […]

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Solar system prices could rise up to 10% as STC prices drop

July 20, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar system prices could rise up to 10% as STC prices drop

(Please see Solar Choice’s in-depth coverage of the STC price drop in this article.) The cost of installing rooftop solar looks set to rise by as much as 10 per cent for households and small business this week, after a sudden drop in the price of small scale renewable energy certificates caught much of the […]

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Newly formed battery giant Fluence aims to take on Tesla

July 11, 2017
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Energy giants AES and Siemens have combined their energy storage divisions to take on upstarts like Tesla and other industry rivals, in an effort to dominate the soaring global battery storage market. The jointly owned entity, Fluence, will focus exclusively on grid-level storage, rather than in the household market, with a minimum size of 100kW. […]

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sonnen launches battery-driven plan to take retailers ‘out of business’

July 5, 2017
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German battery storage developer sonen has described this month’s near 20 per cent jump in the cost of grid power around Australia as “perfect” timing for the rollout of its new battery storage retail power plan. “It was perfect. We said: ‘Thankyou very much’,” sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann told journalists at the launch of the […]

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NSW regulator boosts recommended solar feed-in rates in final report

July 4, 2017
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NSW pricing regulator IPART boosted its recommended range for solar feed-in tariffs in the state, suggesting between 11.9c/kWh and 15c/kWh for exports back into the grid in 2017-18. The recommendations are slightly higher than the draft range released in May of 11.6c/kWh to 14.6/kWh, but substantially higher than last year’s benchmark of 5.5c/kWh to 7.2 c/kWh, thanks to soaring […]

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Concept of ‘baseload’ energy quickly becoming a relic of the past

July 3, 2017
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A new US report argues that the concept of “baseload” energy generation is an artefact of an old fossil fuelled industry, and should not be confused with reliability. The Brattle Group report was commissioned by US-based NGO NDRC, as part of America’s own battle over the future of “baseload” in a rapidly changing energy market.As in Australia, […]

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Finkel modelling ignores new technologies, cheaper renewables

June 14, 2017
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The Australian public – and the Coalition party room – are being told that the cheapest and most effective way to address emissions is to allow coal-fired power stations to remain in the system beyond their 50-year asset life. According to the Finkel Review’s recommended policy mechanism, the Clean Energy Target, allows for coal-fired generation […]

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Incredible new lows in cost of battery storage and large scale solar

May 23, 2017
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Arizona has set a new low price for large-scale solar power in the US, but more importantly has also smashed expectations of the combined cost of large-scale solar and battery storage. Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) this week announced it would buy solar energy from a new 100MW solar plant at the historically low price […]

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Subsidies are not the answer to battery storage market

May 23, 2017
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The Clean Energy Council has called for urgent energy urgent market reform – and not subsidies – to unlock Australia’s energy storage market, in a new report that joins the growing chorus for Australia’s policy makers to finally respond to the challenges and opportunities of new technologies. Related PostsResidential Solar PV Price Index – April […]

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Solar saved NSW consumers almost $1 billion in latest heatwave

May 19, 2017
Thumbnail image for Solar saved NSW consumers almost $1 billion in latest heatwave

Rooftop solar on homes and businesses across New South Wales likely reduced the market price of wholesale electricity by nearly $1 billion during a February heatwave, a new analysis has found. The analysis by Marija Petkovic, of consulting firm Energy Synapse, says that without rooftop solar the total cost of market prices would have been […]

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Solar is so cheap it now cools the air outside too

May 17, 2017
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Rooftop solar power is becoming so cheap, and will become so abundant, that we will reach the situation where the kilowatt-hours of use (i.e. the production) are effectively free, the head of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has said. Related PostsSA Government looks for one hour of battery storage to be built (25 Mar, 2017) […]

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RET very much in reach with record $7.5bn renewables spend

May 9, 2017
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Australia is experiencing its biggest ever investment spree in large-scale renewable energy, according to two new sets of data, putting the 2020 renewable energy target well within reach. The Clean Energy Council confirmed on Wednesday that new figures put the value of large scale wind and solar projects, and one solitary biomass plant, beginning construction […]

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Dropping solar and wind costs means renewable exports could replace gas and coal

April 26, 2017
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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency set to announce that hydrogen projects will become one of its new investment priorities in the coming year, just as the country is being urged to maintain its status as a major energy exporter. The government is being told that “green fuel” exports – powered by wind and solar – […]

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Coalition governments holding back renewable energy

April 18, 2017
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New South Wales might be Australia’s only mainland state or territory with a Coalition government and energy minister, but that hasn’t stopped it from having high renewables and emissions reduction ambitions of its own. Its Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan – unveiled as part of the NSW 2050 zero emissions target last October – openly […]

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