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    This Week in Solar: Australian Renewable Energy Transition

    This Week in Solar: Australian Renewable Energy Transition

    1. Deciding to Go Solar: Why Solar Power System Quality Matters

    There isn’t just one type of “solar power system.” As with anything, there are a number of manufacturers for solar power — and they differ in more than just cost. A solar power system is a significant investment. It’s worth it to do some research and find the correct system for you.

    Read on Solar Trust Centre’s recent blog post and learn more on what matters most.

    2. City of Adelaide switches to 100% renewable electricity

    In a first for a South Australian council, the City of Adelaide’s operations will be powered by a solar-wind electricity blend under a partnership with electricity retailer Flow Power. The switch will bring the City a step closer to its goal of becoming one of the world’s first carbon-neutral cities and help South Australia’s energy transition.

    3. Organic Renewable Network in Australia

    The Minister for Water The Hon Lisa Neville MP announced two Renewable Organics Networks projects to reduce waste going to landfill by using organic waste to produce electricity. Barwon Water is helping the Victorian Government power a jobs and renewable energy boom in the state’s south west thanks to the nation’s first Renewable Organics Networks.

    With a facility being built at the Colac Water Reclamation Plant and another under development for the greater Geelong area in partnership with local councils, the projects will create more than 80 new jobs across the construction and ongoing facility management stages.

    4. Australia’s major energy players are split over pace of renewables transition

    A major split is growing between some of Australia’s leading energy companies, between those who acknowledge the inevitability of large-scale cuts to emissions, and the rapid transition to a renewables-dominated grid, and those desperately trying to extract profits out of their ageing coal plants.

    5. Huge jump in installations using solar panel validation

    The program designed to protect Australian consumers by making the identification of solar products easier is growing in popularity.

    The solar panel validation (SPV) scheme was launched to address the problem of unapproved solar panels in the Australian market.

    6. Cities Of Sydney And Adelaide Power Aquatic Centres And Sports Fields With 100% Renewable Energy

    The Cities of Adelaide and Sydney are now powering their aquatic centre, sports fields and libraries and venues using 100% renewable electricity generated from wind and solar farms.

    7. Ikea invests more in solar by the day

    The Swedish furniture giant has said it will turn one of its Australian superstores into its first 100% renewables-powered solar+storage retail project. Australia is also home to the company’s first expansion of its retail solar offering, Solstråle.

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    Deciding to Go Solar: Why Solar Power System Quality Matters

    Solar Power System Australia

    There isn’t just one type of “solar power system.” As with anything, there are a number of manufacturers for solar power — and they differ in more than just cost. A solar power system is a significant investment. It’s worth it to do some research and find the correct system for you.

    Cheap Solar Panel Systems vs. Quality Solar Systems

    When you compare solar panel systems, you’ll likely see some systems that are much cheaper than others. However, there’s a substantial difference between these cheaper systems and high quality, long-lasting solar.

    • Cheap solar systems. Not only are the manufactured parts usually cheaper (and also won’t last as long), you will usually have a shorter warranty period. Even if your product fails while under warranty, the warranty may not be honored, or may be highly restrictive. Cheap solar companies frequently go out of business and may not be able to provide the support that they promised. Even if they are, there will often be surcharges for the maintenance.
    • Quality solar systems. When you purchase a quality solar system, you often get a lengthy warranty that provides full support. Quality solar systems are made of better materials with more thorough testing, to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you paid for. This means they’re going to be more reliable and less likely to break down.

    When it comes to something as serious as your power, you don’t want to invest in a system that’s not going to work. Investing a little more in a quality solar system will often save you money over time.

    What Are the True Costs of a Cheap Solar Panel System?

    Your solar power system will pay for itself over time, but only if it’s efficient. An inefficient solar system isn’t going to produce as much energy, will require costly repairs, and may need to be replaced quite quickly.

    To be efficient, save you money, and protect the environment, a solar panel system has to be as efficient as possible. But due to the popularity of solar, many less than reputable companies have begun to manufacture solar panels.

    These solar panels may look and act in every respect like a higher quality panel, but they’re made out of inferior parts. They will break down faster, won’t produce as much energy, and ultimately will cost more money long-term.

    How Can You Identify High Quality Solar Systems?

    As with many things, reviews and testimonials can help you identify a higher quality solar system. Solar systems do cost money upfront, but they save you money over time. Going with the cheapest solar system is almost never a good idea: there’s a reason that the solar system is so cheap.

    Many foreign manufactured solar systems don’t adhere to the same regulations and standards that domestically produced solar systems do. These solar systems aren’t going to perform as well as others.

    With a solar system, the purchase price is only one cost. There’s an additional cost for maintenance. High quality solar systems will cost very little to maintain. Cheap, Chinese panels have been known to fail, and can cost a lot to repair or replace.

    Solar systems are an excellent way to save money over time, as well as to commit to sustainable energy consumption. But if you’re interested in getting a solar system, you also need to commit to the research, get multiple quotes, and look up reviews and testimonials.

    How to Find Solar Dealers Who Ensure Quality Delivery

    LG Solar awards dealers across Australia for meeting strict quality measures for products and installations. Each state has it’s own category for the annual LG Installer of the Year award.

    The 2019 winner for Victoria is G-Store Solar, who also won this category in 2018 and 2017. Matt from G-Store had the following to say about his company’s win:

    “To be awarded this on the best solar panel in the world by the most reputable solar manufacturer in the world is a tremendous tremendous achievement. I know we all believe in a quality offering and unrivaled service and I look forward to ongoing achievements such as this across the entire business.”

    Matt from G-Store

    The 2019 winner for South Australia is Generate Energy. The team celebrated this win by saying the following:

    “We are immensely proud of our team for all of the hard work they have put into quality installations, using only products from the best manufacturers in the world. We look forward to another year of powering Australians’ homes with LG’s solar products.”

    Generate Energy
    Generate Energy Installer of the Year 2019

    We encourage you to assess the quality and assurance measures of any solar installer you consider working with in the future. This will guarantee you have a safe and reliable product that will last in the long term.

    This blog post was originally published on 21/05/2019 and updated on 01/07/2020.

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    This Week in Solar: Australian Solar Farms

    This Week in Solar Australian Solar Farms

    1. What Are the Warranties on Panels and Inverters?

    Choosing the right panels and inverters for your solar energy system is important, but so is making sure those components are warranted properly.If they stop working for some reason or you have other problems with them, you want them to be covered.

    Here is what you need to know about the most common warranties for these products.

    2. The surprising way renewables can help farmers cope

    It turns out that with solar panels, even the grass is greener during a drought.

    That’s the experience of Dubbo grazier Tom Warren, who says condensation dripping off the panels arrayed across 55 hectares of his farm provided a moisture source that was the envy of neighbours.

    3. Epho to construct Canberra’s first community solar farm

    Canberra’s first community solar farm, the Majura Valley Community Solar Farm, is a step closer to reality after Epho signed on to design and construct the farm. The solar farm is the development project of SolarShare, a group of local community investors.

    4. Australia solar farm construction starts soon

    AC Energy on Thursday said the construction of the 720-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Australia would commence soon following the signing of the connection agreements with Australian power grid operator TransGrid.

    The said agreements will enable the 720 MW New England Solar Farm to connect with TransGrid’s 330kV transmission line from Tamworth to Armidale in Northeast New South Wales, and the delivery of connection services over the life of the project.

    5. Significant decline in potentially unsafe PV systems in Australia

    The number of Australian rooftop solar systems that can be labeled as unsafe or potentially unsafe has drastically declined, proving the efficiency of solar safety measures introduced to protect both installers and consumers.

    6. Sun Metals to build NQ’s first renewable hydrogen plant

    The developer of Australia’s first utility-scale industrial solar project will now build North Queensland’s first renewable hydrogen facility at its zinc processing plant with the help of a $5 million Queensland government grant.

    7. ARENA Awards Grant for Renewables Demonstration Project

    The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) says $994,685 in funding has been awarded to Solcast to conduct its Gridded Renewables Nowcasting Demonstration project.

    Solcast aims to enhance existing weather forecast services by developing a proof of concept demonstration of a forecasting tool that will track and predict renewable output in real-time.

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    What Are the Warranties on Panels and Inverters?

    What Are the Warranties on Panels and Inverters?

    Choosing the right panels and inverters for your solar energy system is important, but so is making sure those components are warranted properly. If they stop working for some reason or you have other problems with them, you want them to be covered. But there is a bit of a catch to the warranty on these items, in that there are actually four separate warranties to be considered. Here is what you need to know about the most common warranties for these products.

    Panel Performance Warranty

    The performance warranty on solar panels is generally for 25 years, although some manufacturers raise this warranty to 30 years, instead. When an installation company talks about the warranty on solar panels being for 25 years, it is generally on the performance only and does not cover other aspects of the system or the panels themselves.

    Panel Product Warranty

    Typically, the panel product warranty is between five and 10 years, depending on the company that installs the panels and what they’re offering. This is far different — and far shorter — than the panel performance warranty. However, many people incorrectly assume that the panel product warranty is the same as the panel performance warranty. That could lead them to thinking they have more coverage than they actually do, and for a longer period of time, as well.

    Inverter Warranty

    The Inverter warranty is almost always for five years, but there are sometimes upgrade options that can push this warranty to 10 years or longer. These upgrades are generally not free, and may be offered at the time of the sale or the time of the installation. Additional warranties can provide good value if they are low in cost, but it is important to understand how much the price will rise.

    Installation Warranty

    The warranty for the installation is provided by the installer, not the manufacturer of the solar panels or other system components. Usually this warranty is for one or two years. In some cases, installation warranties can be 10 years long, but this is not common. Asking your installer about the length of their warranty is vital to having the knowledge you need about your system.

    What Should You Ask Your Installer About Warranties?

    Before choosing an installation company for your solar panels and inverters, make sure to ask that company about their warranties. The installer may say there is a 25 year warranty, but it is important to understand that does not cover everything. While it may cover the panel performance, other aspects of the job have warranties that are much shorter. It is very important to understand exactly what you are getting.

    Who Should You Speak to About Product Issues or Safety Risks?

    If you have product issues or you see something you believe is a safety risk, contacting your installer is the first step. They are knowledgeable about the job they completed for you, and have all the information about the manufacturers of the products they installed, as well. Whether or not your panels or inverters are still under warranty, it is very important that you address safety risks and other problems promptly. With care and proper maintenance, your solar panels and inverters can provide good value and last a long time.

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    This Week in Solar: Solar Efficiency and Innovations

    This Week in Solar Solar Efficiency and Innovations

    1. SA to manage household solar energy going into grid

    The State Government will fund a $10 million “voltage management” system to allow South Australian household solar panel systems to be disconnected from the electricity grid to avoid instability and blackouts.

    2. Analyst expects ‘unprecedented’ consolidation of Chinese solar industry

    The state will move to clamp down on an over-expansion of Chinese solar production capacity, according to the AECEA.

    3. Solar cell efficiency improved as Wollongong startup replaces silver with copper in its new venture

    Sundrive founders David Hu and Vince Allen have been leading a small team working to replace silver with copper in solar cells.

    “There’s a lot of consensus in the scientific community that copper is most likely to be the most suitable alternative [to silver].”

    4. Australian researchers claim new record for direct ‘solar-to-hydrogen’ solar cells

    Australian researchers have claimed a new world efficiency record for solar panels that can directly split water using sunlight, in an achievement that opens up a new pathway to low-cost renewable hydrogen.

    5. To Boost Renewable Energy, Australia Looks to Water and Gravity

    Pumped storage hydropower could store intermittent energy from wind and solar power to de-carbonize the nation’s electricity supply

    An Australian utility has drawn up plans that would marry the country’s renewable energy power with a decades-old trick of hydro engineering.

    6. People need to see the benefits from local renewable energy projects, and that means jobs

    Renewable energy projects are often in direct competition with gas for the hearts and minds of communities.

    Yet one study found there are many more potential jobs in renewables than in gas in north-west New South Wales.

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    This Week in Solar: Australia and Solar

    This Week in Solar: Australia and Solar

    1. Ikea’s full home solar offer arrives in Australia

    Ikea has launched its turnkey home solar offer in Australia, making it the first market outside of Europe in which consumers can purchase home solar kits from its website. The company has partnered with Solargain to bring solar to as many Aussie rooftops as possible.

    2. New 3.6 GW PV-powered hydrogen project announced in Australia

    Austrom Hydrogen, a newcomer to the Australian renewable energy scene, has unveiled plans to develop a large solar project, battery storage system, and hydrogen generation facility in Queensland.

    3. How aluminium smelters can help decarbonise Australia’s industrial economy

    The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reports that this is the moment to invest to revitalise Australian heavy industry and grow jobs. Cue renewable energy.

    4. Solar Trees grow in Townsville

    Townsville in North Queensland is set for two stunning new tourist attractions, two ‘solar trees’.

    ‘Solar trees’ are highly effective beautification projects because of their naturally sublime multi-functionality. Not only is a solar tree a technological rendering of nature but a promotion of solar technology and an architectural and beneficial complement to any locality.

    5. Australia’s best performing wind and solar farms in May

    According to data put together by David Dixon from Rystad Energy, the best performing grid-scale solar plant in Australia in the month of May (in terms of capacity factor) was the 52MW Broken Hill solar farm near the city of the same name in western NSW.

    Overall, the share of renewables in the month of May rose to 26 per cent in the National Electricity Market, and 20 per cent of W.A.’s Wholesale Electricity Market.

    6. QLD Govt backs renewable energy hub to empower western economies

    The Palaszczuk Government is helping to fund a feasibility study into the proposed Barcaldine Renewable Energy Hub, a project with the potential to revolutionise the economy of the state’s south-west and turbo-charge the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

    7. Facade solar panels with ‘mimic design’

    Dutch startup Solar Visuals and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) have developed new “mimic design” facade modules that reproduce the features of building surfaces.

  • Resources

    The following are a collection of resources related to LG Solar ebooks:

    Beginner’s Guide to Solar

    This guide covers the benefits of buying solar panels for your home.

    By owning a solar system you typically own a big share of the electricity
    you consume, with the savings you make immediately starting to pay
    off the cost of your investment. For many homes in about five to six
    years, your power savings will have paid off the investment you spent.

    This ebook covers the following topics:

    • The Benefits of Going Solar
    • How a Grid System works
    • The Components of a Solar System
    • Installing PV Panels for your Solar System
    • Solar Panel Sizes
    • Incentives, Rebates and Financing
    • Details on How to Choose a Solar Installer
    • Questions to Ask Before You Buy
    • Additional Tips to Avoid Buying Poor Quality Solar Equipment
    Beginners Guide to Solar

    Considering Solar A Detailed Guide – Part 1

    This ebook will teach you how to save on your electricity bills, help increase the value of your house and achieve better environmental outcomes by purchasing quality solar equipment.

    Included in this guide are the following topics:

    • The Key Benefits of Going Solar
    • Six Tips to a Great Solar System
    • How Solar Works
    • Solar: The Financial Realities
    • Solar Panel Installations Explained
    • The Origin of Your Solar Panels
    • Installing Quality Panels for Great Long Term Performance
    • The LG Installation Partner Network
    • Mounting Systems
    Considering Solar A Detailed Guide - Part 1

    Considering Solar A Detailed Guide – Part 2

    This guide will provide you with the knowledge to choose whether you want solar and enable you to choose the best installer and product for your needs.

    You will be able to understand your solar consultants and critically assess them and their offer.

    This ebook cover the following topics:

    • The Inverter Solution
    • Solutions for Roofs That Have Some Shadow
    • Solar Panel Technology: An Overview
    • Check on the Component Manufacturer
    • Metering Option for Your Solar System
    • Solar and Batteries
    • Important Information You Should Know About Solar Warranties
    • The 5 Steps to a Quality Solar Installation
    • Solar System: Long Term Maintenance
    • Solar Summary
    • Solar Industry Overview
    Considering Solar A Detailed Guide - Part 2

    7 Reasons LG Panels Will Save You

    As a global electronics manufacturing pioneer, LG has more than 60 years of experience in product development and innovation. Now, with over 30 years of research and development in the solar industry behind us, we’re proud to be one of the leading innovators and manufacturers of solar panels globally and in Australia and New Zealand.

    This ebook will provide information on the following topics:

    • LG Solar Offers Strength, Stability and Reliability
    • Better Financial Return Over Time
    • More Electricity For You
    • Long Term, Reliable Warranty Support for Australia & NZ
    • LG Panels are Built to Last
    • LG Shows Environmental Leadership
    • Great Looking Brand Panels Can Help Improve Property Value
    7 Reasons LG Panels Will Save You

    Cheap Solar – A Cautionary Tale

    Have you ever wondered why some solar panels and solar inverters cost more than others? Read “Cheap Solar” and make sure you don’t fall for cheap solar.

    This ebook covers the following topics:

    • Low Panel Quality
    • Panel Hotspot
    • Low Quality Panels De-Laminating
    • Low Quality Panel with Dishonoured Warranty
    • Poor Installation and No Follow Up
    • Poor Parts & Installation
    • Carelessly Secured Panels During Transit
    • Burnt Isolators – Cheap Components
    • Shaded Solar Systems – Poor Installations
    • You Get What You Pay For
    Cheap Solar

  • Good quality solar components

    Here’s how to tell if a solar dealer is focussing on quality versus cheap products. If they are focussed on quality, they will focus on the following brands:

    Solar Panels

    LG panels – https://www.lgenergy.com.au/

    LG’s solar products are manufactured in South Korea. LG has over 60 years of experience in global electronics manufacturing and product development. LG has 30 years of research and development in the solar industry, cementing the company as a leading innovator and manufacturer of solar panels globally and in Australia and New Zealand.

    LG’s new 25 year solar product warranty is 15 years longer than the industry standard. Customers can benefit from longer product warranties, higher panel efficiency and less long-term panel degradation.

    It is essential you invest in quality solar products. Cheap solar manufacturers are often unreliable and unsafe, and disband before consumers can claim warranties. LG provides you with the confidence of a reliable service.

    As of February 2020 less than 100 panels have been replaced due to manufacturer related issues – from over 1.2 million LG panels installed across Australia and New Zealand since 2010.


    SMA – https://www.sma-australia.com.au/

    SMA is a manufacturer of market leading premium solar and battery inverter solutions for residential, commercial and utility scale segments, for both on and off-grid systems. SMA was established in Germany in 1981, and with a global footprint of 18 countries across 4 continents, has led the industry since.

    SMA began operations in Australia in 2007 and with over half a million products already installed across Australia, has more products installed and more experience than any competitor. SMA is committed to driving Australia’s transition to clean, renewable energy for a sustainable future for generations to come.

    If an inverter fails, SMA proactively informs the PV system owner and the installer. If it is necessary to replace the inverter, SMA sends a replacement device fast and free of charge. Read SMA’s warranty information here.

    Fronius – https://www.fronius.com/en-au/australia 

    A passion for new technologies, intensive research and revolutionary solutions have been shaping Fronius since 1945. The brand was established in the small Austrian town of Pettenbach. As the technology leader today, we find, develop and implement innovative methods to monitor and control energy for photovoltaics and battery charging.

    Fronius is now represented by subsidiaries in over 28 countries and by sales partners and representatives in over 60 countries. We pride ourselves as being recognised as innovation and technology leaders.

    Reliability, a long service life and sustainability play a crucial role for PV-system owners – just like they do for Fronius. This is why Fronius givse customers the option of purchasing warranty period extensions for Fronius products. Find Fronius’ warranty information here.

    Enphase – https://enphase.com/en-au (Micro inverters) 

    Enphase develops home energy solutions, such as inverters, from headquarters in California. Enphase values long-term investments in home energy systems, and provides customers with a promise of performance and reliability to help them make the correct choice. Positioned as a manufacturing leader, Enphase technology offers customers the flexibility to handle whatever the future might bring—from home expansions to smart home and smart grid integration.

    Enphase provides customers with comprehensive warranty coverage. Enphase Energy® offers the industry’s leading warranty and servicing packages. Organisations around the country choose Enphase knowing it meets even the strictest safety requirements. Read more about their warranties here.

    Solar Edge – https://www.solaredge.com/aus/products/pv-inverters#/ 

    SolarEdge was established in 2006, with the purpose of inventing a better way to collect and manage energy in PV systems. Today, with headquarters in Israel, SolarEdge is a global leader in smart energy technology.

    Dedicated to improving the way people produce and consume energy, SolarEdge is spearheading the efforts in transforming the solar inverter into a smart energy manager.

    The SolarEdge inverter warranty is extendable to 20 or 25 years, depending on inverter model. SolarEdge manages a rapid RMA process and generally ships a replacement unit within 48 hours, if the reported defect is eligible for coverage under the Limited Product Warranty. Read SolarEdge’s warranty information here.


    Telsa (Powerwall) – https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/powerwall 

    Tesla is a clean energy engineering company, founded in California in 2003. The Tesla Powerwall battery was unveiled in 2015. Tesla’s clean energy solutions enable homeowners, businesses, and utilities to manage renewable energy generation, storage, and consumption.

    Powerwall integrates with solar to store excess energy generated during the day and makes it available when customers need it, minimising reliance on the grid.

    Should your Powerwall fail to comply with Tesla’s warranty guidelines, Tesla will, in its sole discretion, either repair your Powerwall, replace your Powerwall with an equivalent product, or refund you the market price of an equivalent product at the time of the market claim. Find more warranty information for Australian and New Zealand here.

    LG Chem – https://www.lgenergy.com.au/products/battery – https://www.lgchem.com/product/PD00000149


    LG Electronics, Inc. (LG) is a widely diversified global leader and technology innovator in the consumer electronics. LG’s solar battery products are manufactured in an automated production facility in Gumi, South Korea. LG has over 60 years of experience in global electronics manufacturing, and 30 years of experience in the solar industry.

    LG Electronics offers high quality and efficient solar panels and our sister company LG Chem offers some of the best lithium-ion solar home batteries.

    LG offers a warranty of twenty five (25) years from date of original installation. This includes the authorisation of a replacement of the module, free of charge, if in LG’s opinion it needs replacement because of a manufacturing or materials defect appearing within and notified to LG in accordance with this warranty. Read more about LG’s warranty information here.

    Sonnen – https://sonnen.com.au/


    Sonnen is a German engineering company in the energy industry. Th company was founded in 2010, and opened an manufacturing plant in South Australia in November 2018. This branch of Sonnen is dedicated to building safe, reliable home battery storage systems and accessories.

    Sonnen makes the most of its 10 years of German innovation in design and engineering, along with local production expertise in Australian manufacturing, to deliver thousands of quality and intelligent home battery storage systems across Australia and New Zealand.

    The sonnenBatterie is an intelligent storage system that automatically adjusts the energy usage in consumer’s homes. The combination of a PV system and a sonnenBatterie allows consumers to cover about 80% of their yearly energy requirement with self-produced and clean energy.

    Sonnen’s warranty promise is 10 years or 10,000 charge cycles. You can read more about Sonnen’s warranty information here.

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    This Week in Solar: Clean Energy – Driving Australia’s economic recovery

    This Week in Solar: Clean Energy - Driving Australia's economic recovery

    1. Complete Guide to Solar: Components of a System

    With the right equipment and installation, you can get a quality experience from your system. Read more about the most important issues to consider on what’s needed for a solar energy system in Solar Trust Centre’s blog post here.

    2. If clean energy is to drive Australia’s economic recovery, let’s keep it local

    If we still rely on international supply chains for wind, solar and other projects, Australian jobs will be foregone.

    The key to making this happen is to require local content as part of the renewables led recovery. Simply hoping for the trickle-down benefits of short-term construction jobs, while valuable, is not good enough.

    3. Rooftop solar market powers on in Australia, despite Covid-19 blip

    The Australian rooftop solar market remains strong, posting its third highest monthly volume in May despite two consecutive monthly falls that finally reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on installations

    The latest data from industry analysts Sunwiz shows that 220MW of small scale rooftop solar was registered in the month of May, down from April which in turn was down from the record high level in March. But it was still the third highest month on record.

    4. PV plants lasting longer, with lower operational costs

    Solar plants are now expected to last 32.5 years and have operational costs of $17 per kW/year, as shown by a Berkeley Lab survey of industry participants.

    5. Renewable shift holds 45,000-job opportunity for Australia – study

    Australia could stand on the cusp of a boom of skilled green energy jobs across left-behind rural areas if it embraces renewables post-pandemic, according to the Clean Energy Council (CEC), which is Australia’s renewable energy association.

    6. CEC publishes first ever national study of renewable energy workforce

    The continuing dominance of the small-scale solar sector and the great potential for regional and rural jobs are just some of the findings in the Clean Energy Council’s “Clean Energy At Work”, a first-of-its-kind extensive report into the current renewable energy workforce and its potential over the next 10-15 years.

    7. Renewable energy projects worth billions predicted as NSW pushes ahead with targeted zones

    The New South Wales Government is urging businesses to pitch renewable energy projects as part of Australia’s first ‘renewable energy zone’ in the state’s Central West.

    There is just a week to submit expressions of interest for the pilot program, with construction expected to begin in 2022.

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    Complete Guide to Solar: Components of a System

    Components of a Solar System
    In order to better understand what’s needed for a solar energy system, you need to know about the different components that are included. With the right equipment and installation, you can get a quality experience from your system. Here are the most important issues to consider.

    Grid Connected or Off-Grid System?

    There are two main options for solar energy systems, and these are the grid connected and off-grid (or stand alone) systems. A grid connected system will help power your home, and will also feed power back into the grid if you produce more power than you use. An off-grid system won’t cause that feedback, because it’s not hooked into the grid at all. But both kinds of systems can be very valuable and work well. The key to getting the right one for your needs is understanding the differences and finding a quality installer to make sure your system is set up correctly.

    What a Grid Connected System Offers

    A grid connected solar system has panels — also called solar PV modules — that supply DC power. Then there is a string inverter or micro-inverter that changes the DC power into AC power. That’s the type of power you need to operate the appliances in your home. It’s also the kind of power that can be fed back into the grid. Without the conversion from DC to AC power, you won’t be able to use anything your solar panels are producing. You also won’t be able to feed the power back, so you won’t  get a credit for the power you supply.

    Roof Mounting System

    In addition to the panels and the converter, you need a roof mounting system. You can’t mount the solar panels to just any type of roof, either. The roof needs to have an angle of 25 degrees or lower, and it needs to be either metal or tile. An on-site inspection from a qualified installer can help determine if your current roof will be able to take installed panels, and what kind of mounting system will be needed. Then you’ll need all the electronic accessories that come with a solar system, like wires, circuit breakers, and more. Rewiring may need to be done on your house in order to ensure that everything is safe and working correctly.

    The Benefits of an Off-Grid System

    An off-grid, or stand alone, system will have the same type of components as the grid system, with the exception of the tie-in to the grid. That means you’ll need a different kind of power inverter, and a charge controller for your storage battery. You can’t allow too much power to flow from the solar system into your home, or it could become dangerous or damage your wiring. You also can’t send any extra current out to the grid, so it has to be kept in the storage battery and properly regulated. That’s what the charge controller is for, as it controls the charge that comes from the battery into your home to reduce the chances of any damage or risk.
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    This Week in Solar: Australia – World leader in Renewable Energy


    1. Should I get an on-site inspection before buying solar panels?

    One of the most important things to do before buying solar panels is to have an on-site inspection of your property. An inspection will also make it easier to understand your energy consumption, and to ensure that any needed upgrades can be done to your switchboard.

    Read more about the main things to consider with your on-site inspection here.

    2. Solar panel recycling: Turning ticking time bombs into opportunities

    Australia has certainly demonstrated its appetite for solar power. Now, with the average lifespan of a solar panel being approximately 20 years, many installations from the early 2000’s are set to reach end-of-life. Will they end up in landfill or be recycled?

    A potential time bomb could present itself as an opportunity, however, if the global EV industry showed an interest in the recovered solar products.

    3. Australia’s 2020 energy statistics show gas and renewables growth

    The Federal Government has released its 2020 Australian Energy Statistics, showcasing growth in renewables and gas generation.

    Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the increase in renewable generation was driven by record levels of new investment, with 6.3GW of new renewable energy capacity delivered in 2019 and a similar level expected to be delivered in 2020.

    “Australia continues to be a world-leader in renewable energy, with ongoing increases in renewable capacity and generation”, Mr Taylor said.

    4. NSW seeks expressions of interest for 3 GW renewable energy zone

    Solar, wind and energy storage companies have until June 5 to express interest in building parts of the 3 GW renewable energy zone in New South Wales.

    5. Sun Cable plans Darwin big battery, precursor to world’s biggest solar and storage project

    The Sun Cable consortium has unveiled plans for a substantial big battery in Darwin as a precursor to its broader plans to build the world’s large solar and storage project as part of a $20 billion to export Australia’s “sunshine” to Singapore and other south east Asia countries.

    6. Amazon Going Solar — Big Time

    “The five projects include Amazon’s first renewable energy project in China, second in Australia, second and third in Ohio, and 12th in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Amazon notes in a press release about the news. “Globally, Amazon has 91 renewable energy projects that have the capacity to generate over 2,900 MW and deliver more than 7.6 million MWh of energy annually, further supporting the Company’s Climate Pledge commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reach net zero carbon by 2040.”

    7. Gransolar Group to build Molong Solar Farm in NSW

    Spanish EPC contractor Gransolar Group (GRS) has secured a contract with global renewable energy infrastructure manager AMP Energy to build the Molong Solar Farm in New South Wales and provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services on the project for at least two years. The solar farm, which will generate 39 MW of peak power, is expected to be connected to the grid by the year’s end.

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    Should I get an on-site inspection before buying solar panels?

    Should I Get an On-Site Inspection?
    Before you buy solar panels, there are a few things you’ll need to do. One of the most important things is to have an on-site inspection of your property. That will help you be sure your roof can handle the panels, and that they’re being put in the right place. An inspection will also make it easier to understand your energy consumption, and to ensure that any needed upgrades can be done to your switchboard. Here are the main things to consider with your on-site inspection.

    Your Roof Needs an Assessment

    Before you can get solar panels installed, your roof should be assessed. That’s not something that can be done through photos or over the phone, which is why an on-site inspection is so important. An inspector will look to see whether your roof is in suitable condition for mounted panels. For example, roofing tiles have to be in good condition, and asbestos roofing isn’t suitable at all.

    Will Shade Impact Your Roof?

    The assessment will also consider the direction your roof is facing, as that can affect the effectiveness of solar panels based on the sun’s angle and how much light the panels receive on a daily basis. Shade’s impact on your roof can be significant. Of course, the angle of the roof itself matters, as well. Metal roofs that are flat or have up to a 25 degree angle are the easiest options when installing solar panels. If there are chimneys or antennas that will be in the way, these also need to be considered. An installer can look for the ideal position for your panels, the inverter, and the battery. Then they’ll take a look at how they’re going to get the cables from the property to the inverter without a lot of disturbance. If the panels are in a location that gets mostly sunlight from 8am to 5pm, and that isn’t shaded by nearby properties or large trees, they’ll be much more successful in providing power to your home.

    The Switchboard May Need an Upgrade

    Depending on the age of your house and the type and size of the switchboard you have, you may need an upgrade in order to support your new solar panels. The installer who does the on-site inspection can give you information on that. While they’re taking a look at the roof and the switchboard, they’ll also assess the patterns you have for energy consumption. That will help the installer come up with a complete picture of what’s going to be right for you and any changes that will need to be made to your home before solar panels can be installed.

    Put Your Trust in the Right Place

    By meeting your installer for an on-site inspection, you can also determine how trustworthy that installer is and get your questions answered. There are warranties that come with solar panels and their installation, as well, and you need to make sure you understand what these are and how they cover you so you can get the right type of protection. It’s a big decision to get solar panels for your home, but it can be well worth doing if you plan it correctly and get a good on-site inspection before installation.
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