Category: electricity

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Australia prioritises ultra-low-cost solar electricity

The national government of Australia is interested in clean energy technology, and it is financing $40 million in r&d to cut the price of generating energy from solar panels.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has dedicated $40 million of the $1.6 billion cash infusion it got last year to low-cost solar, which has been identified as one of six priority sectors under the national government’s low-emissions technology mission.

Solar power has already pushed coal and natural gas into the power system, but the government says even inexpensive alternative sources will help enable environmentally friendly aluminum and steel possibilities to push the backup energy storage and reduce the price of clean hydrogen, which is resource-intensive of energy to be produced.

Because the technique requires power to run compressors that pull carbon generated in industrial applications out of the air, affordable solar power is required to make carbon capture and storage financially feasible.

“Australian experts have been at the forefront of solar research and development across the world. “Today, an Australian-designed technology is used in 90% of solar panels throughout the world,” Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor remarked.

He termed the line “Solar 30 30 30” to express the low-cost renewable energy unit, which targets a module efficiency of 30% to 30 cents per watt by 2030.

Mr. Taylor stated, “The Solar 30 30 30 aim is key to making solar energy reduced to less than $15 per megawatt-hour.”

Specialists at the University of New South Wales invented the solar photovoltaic cell, which has since become the industry norm and is utilized in over 80% of worldwide production.

In Sydney in 1983, Professor Martin Green of the University of New South Wales and his technical team developed the Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell Solar Technology, which generates more power than prior kinds of cells.


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Is it worth investing in solar batteries currently in Australia?

You’re not the first if you’re already thinking about adding solar batteries to a new or current solar PV system. Many Australian homes have indicated an interest in purchasing solar batteries to minimize their reliance on conventional power corporations, which have maintained a stronghold on them for years.

Batteries, dubbed the “frontier of electricity,” enable solar energy produced throughout the day to be retained to be used at night or on overcast days when solar panels are unable to produce energy. Installing a battery to a domestic solar system may effectively quadruple the quantity of self-generated power used. Even though the advantages of solar batteries are obvious, the hefty initial cost has many people wondering if it is worth the investment now or awaits the value to drop.

The ever-living question, “How much do batteries cost?” is difficult to answer since there are various elements at work when inserting a battery, which together might affect the expense.

Home solar battery energy storage costs are now hovering around $1,000 per kWh, with setup and GST. Evaluate the type and size of the battery, the solar installers employed to conduct the task, or whether extra work is required to make the battery compliant with your installation.

Typically, houses with solar power systems may sell their excess kilowatt-hours (kWh) to the energy provider — this is known as a feed-in tariff. This begs the question: why should you store surplus solar electricity if you’re getting paid for it? In truth, some businesses charge far more for what they purchase from a customer.

In this instance, each kWh saved in batteries for eventual use is worth more than sending it back to the grid. Based on the price differential, the savings connected with storing and using your power might soon pile up.

Solar Batteries | Green Energy

Solar batteries incentive programs at the federal and/or state levels

When local rebates and incentives are available, the financial case for batteries increases. These might range from upfront discounts on battery purchases to demand response schemes that compensate you for removing the load from the electricity grid.

In Australia, various active battery initiatives differ by state and territory:

  • Solar battery incentives in Victoria are available at their present value of up to $4,174 until all rebates in 2020–21 are fully distributed. They will then cut the price to $3,500.
  • Dwellers in New South Wales can get an interest-free loan of up to $14,000 if they establish a solar power system with batteries, and up to $9,000 if they include batteries to an already set up structure.
  • South Australia provides a $3,000 battery reimbursement as well as the possibility to participate in a virtual power plant (VPP). When a battery owner joins a VPP, he or she agrees to allow the power company to utilize their battery capacity in exchange for power bill credits.
  • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) provides a battery reimbursement of $825 per kilowatt of electricity capacity, up to a maximum of 30 kW (up to $24,750).

Incentives may considerably increase the viability of employing batteries, either by lowering the initial cost or by improving long-term savings. When costly power is paired with battery incentives, as is the situation in many regions of Australia, the prognosis brightens even more.

The world is evolving. International agreements, global corporate attitudes, and public awareness are all moving us in the direction of a low-carbon economy. Knowing the influence our spending patterns have on the earth and the security of future generations, minimizing your dependency on the grid is a significant step toward lowering your carbon footprint.

Solar batteries are an attractive choice for Australians who have solar panels and wish to reduce their reliance on the grid. Solar battery prices in Australia, on the other hand, are now expensive.

A solar battery may not be worth the price for many Australians right now. When local power rates are high, however, the savings potential strengthens the case for solar panels with batteries.

Local incentives might also help them win the game. Finally, the benefits of battery storage aren’t only financial; as we progress toward a zero-carbon future, more Australians are looking to energy storage to attain energy independence and a low carbon footprint.


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Alpha ESS releases a 13.3kWh Solar Battery, significantly less expensive than a Powerwall

Just as Tesla secretly increased the price of its Powerwall 2 home Solar battery in Australia by $800, a new domestic energy storage product has arrived on the market, giving about the same capacity for up to $5,000 less.

The new Alpha ESS product debuted in Australia in the first week of November, boasting 13.3kWh of storage capacity, a 10-year guarantee, and a solar battery design life of approximately 15 years thanks to an 8,000 cycle rating.

The cost of the lithium-ion phosphate battery, however, draws attention. An Alpha ESS Smile 5 13kWh battery may be installed in an Australian home for less than $10,000 ($9,900) – that’s also including installation.

The 13.5kWh Powerwall 2 costs $12,500 – up from $11,700 – from Tesla devoid of installation, which may range between $1,150 and $2,900 depending on region and installer.

The Impact of these Solar Battery Prices on the Australian Market

This is good news for those Australian households that have been holding off on investing in battery storage due to cost. Although it’s still a big splurge for most households, with certain state subsidies and VPP offerings, the payback can be brought to around the seven-year mark – which is where rooftop solar started to take off.

These, at least, are the numbers that ShineHub CEO Alex Georgiou has come up with, modeled on a typical house on the NSW Ausgrid network, and signed up to ShineHub’s Community Virtual Power Plant, which pays $0.45/kWh for any battery power used for the VPP.

Alpha ESS - Solar Battery

“The most significant reason this solar battery is crucial is that it unlocks the market up for those who have panels, particularly the larger systems, as [feed-in tariffs] go down,” he told One Step in an interview on Wednesday.

“In Australia, people speak about $15,000 batteries.” This is no longer the case. With this release and the VPP combo, we now have a fiscal model that works for a huge percentage of Australian households.

“Adoption will accelerate, just as it has with solar.”

The interest is there; it’s simply a matter of making it profitable and straightforward.”

Georgiou is a great supporter of Alpha ESS – he’s had one of the latest Smiles put at his own Sydney house, which has 8kW of rooftop solar – and has collaborated with the battery maker for some years, building up the VPP community.

Alpha ESS is one of the worldwide solar battery manufacturers that established a presence in Adelaide in 2018 as part of the South Australian government’s home battery and virtual power plant program (VPP).

The agreement at the time required Alpha-ESS to manufacture more than 8,000 of its earlier model SMILE 5 home batteries in Adelaide each year in exchange for priority access to the government’s Home Battery Scheme.


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‘Distinctive’ solar storage solution companies are planning a 300MW / 3.6GWh project in Australia

A 1,200-hectare land in South Australia has been purchased by a developer who plans to utilize it to create a 300MW solar power plant with solar storage of 3.6GWh using a revolutionary technology solution.

Photon Energy, based in Europe, is attempting to expand the technology developed by RayGen, based in Australia. It combines a concentrating solar power (CSP) + solar photovoltaics (PV) combination called ‘PV Ultra’ from RayGen, with a long-duration energy storage technology called ‘thermal hydro.’

PV Ultra uses PV modules and angled mirror towers (heliostats) to create both power and heat. The thermal hydro part is so named because, unlike a pumped hydro plant, it employs reservoirs at different temperatures, one hot and one cold, to store energy: the PV and grid power cools one, while the CSP warms the other.

The temperature gradient is then used to create electricity using an Organic Rankine Cycle engine, which uses thermodynamic cycles to turn steam into mechanical energy with a throughput efficiency of over 70%.

Photon Energy – In-Depth with Solar Storage Prospects

Photon Electricity, which has constructed, operated, and maintained PV facilities in Europe and Australia, announced its strategic cooperation with RayGen in April 2020, tantalizing the potential grand-scale of their projects and the enabling of round-the-clock renewable energy.

The technique has previously been employed in a 1MWac demonstration plant in Victoria, Australia, which has been in operation for six years. Photon Energy is developing various potential sites for the “unique” technology, while RayGen concluded a Series C fundraising round earlier this year for another project in Victoria, this time of 4MW solar with 3MW / 50MWh energy storage.

Solar Storage Options

Solar Storage Options

The AU$55 million fundraising round was completed after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided AU$15 million, in addition to private investment, and followed ARENA’s assistance in sponsoring a feasibility study. AGL, an Australian energy retailer and generator, as well as Schlumberger New Energy, Chevron Technology Ventures, and Equinor Ventures, were among the round’s investors.

That project, in the Victorian township of Carwarp, is already in the works and is scheduled to open in the middle of next year.

Photon Energy stated that preliminary plans for the South Australia project call for 300MW of solar to a 150MW grid link. Although Photon and RayGen said in prior news releases that the technology is intended to provide up to 17 hours of storage, Photon stated this week that the South Australia project’s 3.6GWh solar storage capacity will correspond to more like 24 hours of storage time.

The licensing and grid connection procedure has already begun, and Photon Energy hopes to have its giga-plant ready to construct by the end of 2023.


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Sun Cable Customers Leaving – Solar Energy Price Increases Take Their Toll

The world’s largest solar energy PV and storage project has hit a snag after a Singapore electricity retailer that had agreed to be a fellowship client for the renewable energy generated by Australia’s $26 billion Sun Cable project revealed it would shut down operations amid a career-high spike in electricity prices.

Singapore’s largest independent power supplier, iSwitch Energy, has stated it will depart the market next month, as the global energy crisis has taken a major toll on electricity costs in the city-state, which imports virtually all of its energy needs.

iSwitch, which had committed its support as a foundation customer for Sun Cable’s proposed $26 billion Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL) in northern Australia, said on November 11 that it will stop retail operations due to “current electrical market circumstances.”

“Approximately the past six years, iSwitch Energy has had the honour of servicing the Singapore Electricity Market and together saving consumers over $150 million on their energy bills when compared to the SP Tariff,” iSwitch stated in a letter to its clients.

“We’ve also assisted in keeping the focus on sustainability and the green aims that we know are so important to all of you.”

The bankruptcy of iSwitch might have repercussions for the planned AAPL project, which would use an undersea transmission link to transport solar energy from Australia’s Outback to Singapore.

Solar Energy Turmoil Downunder

In 2019, the independent retailer promised to assist the project as a foundation off-taker for the solar energy generated by the projected 14 GW solar farm, which would be paired with an estimated 33 GWh of battery storage.

  • The solar energy project is being built on a 12,000-hectare site in the Northern Territory’s Barkly Region
  • It will supply power to Darwin and Singapore via a 4,500-kilometer high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission network
  • It includes a 750-kilometre overhead transmission line from the solar farm to Darwin and a 3,800-kilometer HVDC submarine cable from Darwin to Singapore.

Solar Energy Crisis - Solar Panels for Homes

According to Sun Cable, the AAPL is projected to create enough renewable electricity to power more than 3 million households every year and to be capable of supplying up to 20% of Singapore’s entire electricity demand, with supply beginning in 2027.

In its release, iSwitch made no mention of Sun Cable but stated that customers’ electricity accounts will continue with iSwitch Energy until November 11, when they will be handed to SP Group, Singapore’s state-owned power supplier.

Singapore is the unfortunate example of increasing worldwide gas prices, which have reached all-time highs in Europe and Asia this month. The rising rates have also impacted energy suppliers in the United Kingdom, where several energy businesses have gone bankrupt, while China and India are experiencing power shortages and outages.

Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong recommended families earlier this month to save power as fossil fuel costs continue to rise.

According to Gan, fuel costs have more than quadrupled in the last 18 months, with power prices increasing 54 per cent in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year in key advanced nations.


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