The future benefits of technology such as smart meters and the associated aggregation of small scale generation are not being adequately rewarded, support for solar and wind is being cut off and parliament is fixated solely on one issue.
The Australian Energy Market Operator constrained the output of several large-scale solar plants by 50% on Friday, in response to voltage fluctuations in a 220 kV network spanning the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
A new IRENA report highlights how large-scale storage systems can be thought of as “virtual power lines” that enhance the performance and reliability of power networks when congestion occurs. It expects global storage capacity from large-scale batteries to grow from about 11 GWh at present to between 100 GWh and 167 GWh by 2030.
A consortium led by gas network owner Enwave Australia is developing Australia’s first industrial renewable energy microgrid at a new 120-hectare business park in Nambeelup, Western Australia.
Grid expert Andrea Mansoldo tells pv magazine how energy markets based on solar and storage are feasible as an alternative to costly grid infrastructure work. He says around 6 GWh of battery capacity may be a good alternative to building 1000km of power line or an AC 750 kV high-voltage line.
EuPD Research has calculated what needs to be done to replace the nuclear and coal generation to be phased out in Germany. Accelerated expansion of PV appears the best short-term option. However, storage capacity will need to increase 30-fold by 2040 so solar can become the main pillar of the country’s energy system.
The Munich-based chemical company has taken a substantial minority share in the British materials specialist to expand its silicon-based high-performance battery activity. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Research from Finland’s Aalto University claims the residential cooling sector could sustain 540 GW of solar generation capacity if the world’s air conditioning systems were solar powered. Academics say synergies between PV and the cooling industry will become stronger as demand for the latter shifts nearer the equator, where seasonal differences in weather are less pronounced.
With Kuwait, Qatar and even renewables laggard Saudi Arabia following in the wake of regional clean energy pioneer the UAE, a raft of huge solar tenders is entering the Middle Eastern project pipeline. Obstacles remain to overseas project developers but significant rewards are on offer.
Technical consultancy DNV GL has published its Energy Transition Outlook 2019. While the electric vehicle, storage and renewable energy industries are likely to see significant rises in demand, the sobering conclusion is the world will miss carbon reduction targets by a long shot.
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