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Sophie Vorrath

Customer dissatisfaction with electricity retailers driving uptake of solar, batteries

June 18, 2018
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Australian consumers are even less satisfied with energy retailers than they are with banks and insurers, and are increasingly choosing to take matters into their own hands – a consumer led revolt to solar and storage. That’s one of the key findings from the latest Retail Competition Review, delivered last Friday by the Australian Energy Market […]

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All-electric solar homes could save thousands in energy costs

June 8, 2018
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Disconnecting from gas and choosing to live in all-electric, solar powered homes could save Australian households thousands of dollars in energy costs, a new study has found. The report, published by the Alternative Technology Association, puts a question mark over the use of gas power in homes in almost every major city of Australia, and […]

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Melbourne apartment complex switches on shared solar system

May 30, 2018
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A mixed residential and retail building in the Melbourne Bayside suburb of Highett has successfully installed a shared PV system, paving the way for renters and apartment dwellers to access the benefits of solar. The 7.2kW shared solar system was installed by Melbourne start-up Allume Energy, and is now delivering cheap PV power to five […]

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Residential solar PPA in Perth property development a ‘game changer’

May 14, 2018

A residential property development in Perth’s northern suburbs is offering home buyers a rooftop solar deal that promises to cut their daytime power costs by 40 per cent. The solar power purchase agreement, a first of its kind for Western Australia, is being trialled at Yolk Property Group’s Amble Estate in Girrawheen – a mix […]

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1.5GW solar farm proposed for southeast QLD

May 9, 2018
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A 1.5GW solar farm is being proposed for construction in south-east Queensland, as part of a massive new development application that would include two substations and a provision for battery storage. The Somerset Regional Council said on Friday that it had received the application for the solar PV power plant, proposed for a 2,055 hectare […]

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Report identifies the Australians missing out on solar

April 30, 2018
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As Australia’s rooftop solar market continues to boom, a new report has identified four key markets where uptake is yet to take off. According to the report, by EnergyLab, these markets – including rental homes, apartments, first home-buyers and commercial and industrial – have either been overlooked, or put in the too hard basket. And […]

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Regulator to suggest reductions to NSW feed-in tariff

March 22, 2018
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Solar households in New South Wales look set to be penalised for the lower electricity prices their rooftop PV has helped to deliver, with the state’s pricing regulator proposing a cut to the feed-in tariff by around 3c/kWh. In an issues paper published this week, NSW’s Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal flagged plans to cut […]

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Australian homes, business installed 6.5 solar panels per minute in 2017

March 8, 2018

New data from the Clean Energy Regulator has confirmed 2017 as a record breaking year for rooftop solar take, with Australian homes and businesses installing PV panels at a mind-bending rate of 6.5 per minute over the past 12 months. By the latest count, a total of 1057MW new capacity was added under the national […]

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Xenophon’s SA BEST unveils community electricity co-op plan

February 28, 2018
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Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party has unveiled an energy policy plan to cut South Australia’s power prices by up to 20 per cent by setting up a community electricity co-op. Unveiled on Tuesday, ahead of the March 17 state election, the plan is to use a co-operative model of community electricity trusts to give power […]

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Australia’s grid-scale storage boom, mapped

February 15, 2018
Energy storage boom

A report published today by the Climate Council had some pretty impressive stats on home battery storage uptake in Australia – you can read about that on One Step Off the Grid. But the report also had a lot to say about the growing number of large scale energy storage projects being rolled out across […]

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Home battery storage uptake tripled in 2017 in Australia

February 15, 2018
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As rooftop solar continues to boom in Australia, a new report suggests household battery storage could soon follow suit, with uptake predicted to have tripled in 2017, and costs of the key technology expected to halve in less than seven years. The report, published by the Climate Council on Thursday, puts estimates on home battery […]

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Liddell, the coal plant that “predates colour TV”, trips again

January 31, 2018
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The National Electricity Market’s “summer of trips” continued this week, with a unit at AGL Energy’s Liddell coal power plant in New South Wales dropping out on Tuesday afternoon, and taking around 400MW of generation capacity with it. Two units out at Liddell. That’s equivalent to all 3 un-mothballed gas backup plants that AEMO bought […]

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Solar installs through the roof, as Australians deliver record growth

January 18, 2018
Sunwiz solar growth 2018

Extraordinary figures continue to roll in from the year that was for renewable energy in Australia, but easily the most outstanding so far are the numbers – and “eye watering charts” – that have just come in on national solar PV installations for 2017. The latest tally from PV market analysts SunWiz has revealed a […]

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Second Tesla “big battery” to power Victorian farm

January 15, 2018
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French renewables developer Neoen has once again selected US battery maker Tesla to partner with it on another ground-breaking Australian project – the construction of a wind farm and battery storage facility that will help power a regional Victoria farming business. The wind and battery project, first flagged in mid-2017, will pair the 204MW Bulgana […]

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Rooftop solar: Australia’s greatest opportunity – and its greatest risk

December 14, 2017
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The huge amounts of rooftop solar PV being installed on Australian homes and businesses is rapidly becoming one of the grid’s greatest assets, but they could also represent one of its biggest risks. Australian Energy Market Operator principal Dr Jenny Riesz has warned that if Australia’s tens of gigawatts of distribute PV are not properly […]

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Australia hits new rooftop solar high as homes and businesses get smart – and go big

December 7, 2017
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Australian homes and businesses installed a record monthly total of 120MW of rooftop solar in November, beating the all-time high set in June 2012 and rounding off what is now certain to be a record breaking year – and this time without the help of premium feed-in tariffs. So what is driving this new solar […]

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ATA launches free home solar and battery sizing tool

December 6, 2017
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Australian homes looking to install solar and battery storage systems can now access a free-to-use tool offering them key guidance on the system size, expected energy bill savings and payback times. The online service – available here – was launched by not-for-profit Alternative Technology Association (ATA) on Tuesday. It aims to bridge a knowledge gap […]

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ARENA still has $700m to spend, to bring down cost of storage

November 29, 2017
ARENA battery portfolio

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has tipped 2018 to be a big year for large-scale energy storage, as the Agency focuses its efforts and remaining funds on the integration of large-scale solar and wind. In an address to the Large Scale Solar and Storage conference in Sydney on Monday, ARENA investment director Dan Sturrock said […]

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100% renewables “cheaper, less risky” than building new coal: ATA

November 23, 2017
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Powering Australia with 100 per cent renewable energy is not only achievable by as early as 2030, but would be a “cheaper and less risky” plan than building new coal-fired power, a new report has claimed. The report, published by the Alternative Technology Association, says this could be done by ramping up wind and solar […]

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Is public uncertainty holding back Australia’s home battery boom?

November 22, 2017
Battery storage knowledge

Australians love the idea of battery storage, in the much the same spirit with which they embraced rooftop solar – as another way to cut electricity bills, gain control over their own power, help save the environment, and/or stick it to the man. But they don’t quite get it. Yet. That is one of the […]

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4 charts that show how quickly the global energy system is changing

October 26, 2017
chart

Four charts put together and tweeted over the weekend by clean energy industry veteran Ray Wills have illustrated just how quickly the transformation of the global energy market is happening. In the first chart, on global capacity growth, coal power does not feature at all. It does, however, feature in the following three charts, but […]

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New QLD program unlocks benefits of solar for renters

October 25, 2017
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Queensland Labor has opened the way for thousands more homes in the Sunshine State – including the largely untapped rental market – to gain access to rooftop solar and battery storage. Launched this week as part of the Palaszczuk government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, the new policies will offer no-interest loans to consumers who […]

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New poll confirms that battery is popularity skyrocketing

September 28, 2017
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A new poll has confirmed the increasing popularity of home battery storage in Australia, as households look to reduce their dependence on expensive grid-supplied electricity, and cut soaring power bills. The Reachtel poll, commissioned by the Climate Council, found that 74 per cent of people surveyed from across Australia expect household batteries to be commonplace […]

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Standards Australia likely to dump proposed ‘battery bunker’ requirement

September 20, 2017
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A controversial battery storage installation guideline that threatened to ban lithium-ion battery systems from being put in Australian homes or garages, looks likely to be dumped by Standards Australia, after a round-table meeting on the matter last week. The meeting comes after an extended period of uncertainty for Australia’s residential battery storage industry, following the […]

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Residential battery storage installations ‘surge’ in 2017: Sunwiz

September 20, 2017
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Home battery storage uptake in Australia is surging in 2017, as homes and small businesses seek to minimise their grid electricity usage, and maximise consumption of rooftop solar, to beat power price hikes. New data from industry analysts SunWiz shows more than 7000 battery storage systems were installed across Australia in the first six months […]

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Coal port of Newcastle to get 5MW solar farm

September 6, 2017
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Plans to develop a 5MW solar farm on a former landfill site in the NSW coal port city of Newcastle are set to go to tender, after eight companies were shortlisted to bid for the job to design, build and operate the utility-scale solar farm. The project, which was opened to expressions of interest in […]

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How SunTenants bringing solar power to the roofless

August 29, 2017
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While nearly 1.7 million Australian home owners now enjoy the benefits of cheaper electricity from rooftop solar, an even greater number of households don’t have access to the market – largely, because they don’t have a roof. According to data from the recent national Census, in nine council areas in greater Sydney, more than half […]

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VSUN to launch vanadium flow battery for homes

August 29, 2017
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ASX-listed mining group Australian Vanadium has firmed up plans to target Australia’s energy storage market via its vanadium redox flow battery offshoot, VSUN Energy, and catch the wave of home solar and storage. In a media release, the company said it was looking to offer home battery systems – most likely starting with a base model of […]

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In response to ‘battery bunker’ standards debacle, AEMC recommends new body to oversee distributed energy

August 25, 2017
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The Australian Energy Market Commission has called for the creation of a new regulatory body to oversee the distributed energy generation market, including storage technology. In its final report on the Distribution Market Model, the energy market rule maker indicated the draft standards for battery storage, put together by Standards Australia, were not “fit for […]

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Queensland opens registrations for 100MW energy storage installations

August 9, 2017
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Queensland has called for early registration of companies wishing to tender for the installation of up to 100MW of energy storage before 2020, as part of the Palaszczuk government’s reverse auction for 400MW of new renewable energy capacity. Related PostsAustralia on track to meet Renewable Energy Target – 3 years ahead of schedule (24 Jan, […]

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Australia headed for 12 gigawatts of solar by 2020: APVI

August 2, 2017
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Australia’s installed solar PV capacity is on track to double, jumping from its current total of 6GW to 12GW in 2020, 2.3GW of which is expected to come from large-scale solar projects, according to a new report. The report – the Australian PV Institute (APVI) latest annual update for the International Energy Agency – says […]

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