Here’s a wrap-up of all the key news across solar and other renewables last week.
Grab your coffee, here’s the industry must-knows for the week (19/06/2023 edition)
Solar is set to break global deployment records in 2023
Large-scale and rooftop solar installations are projected to contribute an unprecedented 286 GW of new generation capacity this year. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says global renewable power capacity additions are expected to surge by 107 GW to reach 440 GW in 2023, the most significant annual addition yet.
The IEA said the market conditions had “created a favourable environment for solar PV, especially for residential and commercial systems that can be rapidly installed to meet the growing demand for renewable energy.” (PV Magazine)
ACT’s Australian-first gas ban law
A landmark Australian-first law prohibiting the use of fossil gas in new homes and businesses is set to begin as early as November this year. The ACT government’s Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Natural Gas Transition) Amendment Bill was passed through the Legislative Assembly on Thursday afternoon to establish the legal framework to end new gas network connections.
Currently, the ACT sources its electricity from 100 per cent renewables, preventing households from paying the big increase in energy bills as experienced in other states. Last year, the ACT Government announced that all fossil fuel gas connections would cease before 2045, the same date as the territory’s net zero emissions target.
Writing a gas ban into law establishes the region as a frontrunner in Australia when it comes to embracing electrification, a strategy highly endorsed by a diverse group of specialists as one of the most rapid and economical methods to significantly reduce energy-related emissions while providing relief from the cost of living. (Renew Economy)
It’s a tight squeeze, but coal in NSW could be out by the end of the decade.
A comprehensive blueprint has been created for 14GW of new wind and solar power transmission in New South Wales. However, most of the necessary infrastructure won’t be fully operational until after 2028.
Assuming the construction of the full 14GW, along with rooftop growth and a pessimistic scenario of no demand growth, it is projected that all coal generation in New South Wales will be phased out or replaced by 2030. Once downstream links to load are constructed, the transmission infrastructure is expected to cost approximately $10 billion. This will effectively double the total value of installed transmissions in New South Wales.
You can read more about the NSW Government’s 20-year Network Infrastructure Strategy here. (Renew Economy)
Join VicGrid at a series of online public information sessions about the new Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF).
Victorian Transmission Investment Framework (VTIF), introduced by Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio, is a new framework for how major electricity transmission infrastructure and Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) will be planned and developed in Victoria reforming how energy infrastructure is planned and developed to ensure the State’s electricity grid is built to support its renewables agenda.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the way we plan our energy infrastructure with genuine consultation with communities and industry at the heart of the process,” Minister D’Ambrosio said.
QLD SuperGrid Training Centre and Transmission Hub unveiled
The new Queensland SuperGrid Training Centre and Transmission Hub is now open in Gladstone, marking a significant milestone in the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. This state-of-the-art facility will annually train 500 energy workers, contributing to a skilled workforce for the future. (Energy Today)
CSIRO pioneers groundbreaking project
CSIRO is leading an Australian-first project to develop an easily deployable device to produce hydrogen directly at the point of consumption in a push to reach net zero emissions by 2050. According to a news release, the organization announced its plans to build a prototype using patented technology for the effective production of hydrogen from liquid carriers. Advanced Carbon Engineering, a research and innovation provider, has committed to investing $10 million in this project over a duration of six years. (Australian Manufacturing)
AGL unveils ambitious offshore wind initiative
AGL, as part of a new consortium of Australian and global companies, has submitted a feasibility license application for a 5GW offshore wind development off the coast of Gippsland, Australia. The development phase is expected to include an investment package of $400 million to support workforce and supply chain development, enable the transition of Australian industry, and create local benefits. (Energy Magazine)
NSW government launches milestone trial
A new trial is set to begin across regional NSW as part of the NSW Government‘s $3 billion commitment to transition its bus and coach fleets to zero emissions technology. Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said, “The transition of our bus fleet will have widespread benefits, including improving air quality, noise reduction, a smoother trip for commuters and creating jobs right across.” (Australian Resources)
Aurizon announces investment to develop Australia’s first zero-emissions freight locomotive
Aurizon has announced the details of its investment to develop Australia’s first zero-emissions freight locomotive. This will be the first freight unit to be constructed in Australia powered by batteries, allowing the potential future use of totally renewable energy sources for freight hauls. “Modern freight locomotives using renewable energy sources have the potential to transform the nation’s freight supply chains for customers, communities and the Australian economy,” said Aurizon’s Managing Director & CEO Andrew Harding. (Aurizon)
Hopes new hydrogen generator will help net zero fight | SBS News in Depth Podcast
With the nation’s energy regulator confirming an increase in the electricity price cap, it’s hoped a new hydrogen transport technology could help lower power prices and achieve net zero in Australia. The CSIRO has developed a movable hydrogen generator, enabling the renewable energy source to be transported to even the most remote parts of the country.
Can NSW quit coal? | Energy Insiders Podcast
James Hay and Andrew Kingsmill from EnergyCo discuss the infrastructure roadmap towards 100% renewables. Plus: Sun Cable, Callide and more news.
Solar, batteries and landlords | Solar Insiders Podcast
Solar Victoria’s Stan Krpan on the new incentives for rooftop solar and battery storage. Plus: Should landlords be required to install rooftop solar?
Our photo of the week (from the Meralli archives) is of the compact Jurchen Technology substructure we incorporate into our projects. The PEG® System requires fewer materials reducing supply, logistics and installation costs by up to 40% compared to conventional alternatives. Plus, there is no DC trenching, no foundations, no concrete & minimal heavy machinery required to complete a project. Our state-of-the-art approach to construction allows for the fastest, high-quality builds in Australia.