Commercial solar market surges, but still less than 3% businesses connected

A new website has been launched to help Australia’s solar industry shift its focus from the household market to the relatively untapped market of commercial solar installations. Developed by solar analysts SunWiz and launched on Thursday, the commercial solar database has gathered data on more than 3,500 solar projects to give the industry a better […]

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Why battery system costs may fall 3x faster than solar PV

Everyone, it seems, agrees that battery storage is the next big thing to affect global energy markets. What is not agreed upon is the timing. Some think this may happen in a few years, others in a decade or more. Some think it is happening now. The big question for many is how quickly battery […]

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Communities take lead on renewable energy as big projects stall

The market for large-scale renewable energy projects may well be at a standstill in Australia, but at the community level, things are happening quickly. Dozens of projects have emerged as state governments tap into local ideas, offering grants for innovative projects that allow solar and other renewables to be developed at a local level, for […]

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NSW allocates funds for community renewable energy projects

Six community energy projects in northern NSW have been awarded grants by the NSW government – including a range of solar, bio-gas and mini-hydro projects, and including one to take a whole village of 300 people off grid with renewables. They are among 19 groups to share some $846,000 in the latest round of funding […]

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Byron shire aims to lead Australia on zero emissions community plan

Byron Shire – in the northern rivers region of New South Wales – is aiming to become the first region in Australia to become “net zero emissions”, with a goal to reduce emissions from energy, transport, buildings, waste and land use to zero within 10 years. The push by Byron mayor Simon Richardson means that […]

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1MW community-owned solar farm planned for Goulburn

A NSW community renewable energy group has won a $50,000 state government grant to investigate the feasibility of building what would be Australia’s largest community-owned solar project – a 1MW solar farm in the southern tablelands city of Goulburn. One of 19 recipients to share in a $846,000 round of funding from the NSW Office […]

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Lend Lease to pioneer large scale battery storage for new Perth suburb

Development groups Lend Lease and LandCorp are to pioneer a major community-level battery storage pilot that could change the way that residential communities source energy, including not being connected to the grid. The pilot project at Alkimos Beach, a sustainable community develop in the northern suburbs of Perth, will include 1.1MWh of lithium ion battery […]

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Byron shire to be first in Australia to pilot virtual net metering

Byron shire is to become the first council in Australia to trial “virtual net metering” in what could presage a dramatic change in the way electricity is produced, but also in the role that networks play in the distribution of that electricity. Virtual net metering – also known as peer-to-peer trading – allows the excess […]

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Coffs Harbour City Council commits to 100% renewables by 2030

Yet another local government group has taken Australia’s renewable energy task into its own hands, with the mid-north coast NSW Coffs Harbour City Council committing to a renewable energy target of 100 per cent by 2030. The move puts Coffs Harbour City on the same page as fellow NSW local governments, like Lismore, which last […]

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Solar mini-grid powers through cyclone as WA grids black out

In the wake of Tropical Cyclones Olwyn and Pam – the devastating 250km/h winds of the latter resulting in Vanuatu’s ‘worst natural disaster in living memory’ – we are reminded of how vulnerable centralised electricity grids are to increasingly intense extreme weather events. In Australia, the category three Cyclone Olwyn tore through the WA towns […]

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