Category Archives: News

National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Australia 2019

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

The 2019 report can be found here

Webinar: Integrated Solutions for Daylight and Electric Lighting

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme presents a free webinar timed to suit Australian audiences.

September 25th @ 6:00 am UTC / GMT  (4:00 pm – 5:30 pm AEST)
Recording of September 24th webinar PLUS live Q&A with presenters

More information is available here and you can register below

Step 1: Link for the recorded webinar
 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5661127395431878928?source=IEA+SHC

Step 2: Link for the live Q&A https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8189523652734486544?source=ISES+HP

The webinar will welcome the following presentations:

Jan de Boer – Motivation and Introduction to Task 61 – Barbara Szybinska Matusiak – User requirements for lighting environments

Marc Fontoynont – Technical Solutions for simplified maintenance, improved reliability, user-friendliness in design and application of systems

David Geisler Moroder – Design support for practitioners – simulation workflows and daylight system characterization

Niko Gentile – Instruments and methods

The webinar will be moderated by Bärbel Epp of solrico – solar market research & international communication.

International Study: Solar PV Module Disposal Poses No Health Risk

A new report, by an International Energy Agency task force, finds no significant hazards for land-fill waste disposal of solar PV modules.

Press release

2-page summary

Full report

A new report, by an International Energy Agency task force, finds no significant hazards for land-fill waste disposal of solar PV modules. 

End-of-life management is critical for addressing large future PV waste volumes and conserving raw materials for use in new PV modules. While recycling is expected to be the dominant and preferred strategy for sustainable end of life management, there are still concerns regarding improper disposal of PV modules.

To evaluate these concerns, Australia is participating in a research program with the International Energy Agency looking at potential human health risks associated with separated landfill disposal of PV technologies.

Dr Jose Bilbao, Australian Expert Representative to the IEA on this Task, says “The international team looked at worst-case scenarios to explore maximum possible risk to human health and found no significant hazards with managed disposal of solar modules. Although this report focuses on the potential health risk from disposal of PV modules in landfills, we know that recycling end-of-life PV modules further reduces environmental impacts and resource depletion.”

The report compared predicted exposure in soil, air, groundwater and surface water of the hazardous chemical elements that are found in small quantities. In Australia, the dominant technology is crystalline silicon (c-Si), which contains small quantities of lead (Pb). 

The report estimated the potential health risks through the direct estimate of cancer risk and non-cancer hazards with risk-based screening levels published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Overall, the report found cancer risk and non-cancer hazards to be below screening thresholds for all assessed chemical elements, even in the worst case scenarios. The screening-level methods employed in the report are designed to be used to establish a more complete set of results for any other chemicals of potential concern on commercial PV modules

Australia’s Contribution to the IEA PVPS Global Snapshot Report 2019

This is Australia’s annual contribution to the International Energy Agency’s “Snapshot of Global PV Markets” that is compiled under the Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. 

The Snapshot of Global PV Markets reports on the global uptake by region and by country, according to capacity and electricity generation.

Australia’s contribution can be accessed here

Webinar: Coloured building integrated photovoltaics – Market, Research and Development

The 13th webinar of the Photovoltaic Power Systems Academy

Please register here

This webinar will present recent IEA analysis on innovations and product development of coloured building integrated photovoltaics:

·    Overview of projects

·    Colouring: covers, coatings, printings, films

·    Impact on power generation efficiency

·    Trends

The presentation will involve experts from the IEA’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Task 15.

Speakers: Pierluigi Bonomo, Erika Saretta, Gabriele Eder

Webinar: IEA SHC Solar Academy: Renovating Historic Buildings towards Zero Energy – Task 59

Tue, Jan 28, 2020 11:00 PM – Wed, Jan 29, 2020 12:30 AM AEDT

The International Solar Energy Society is pleased to host the first webinar of the IEA SHC Solar Academy Solar Academy for 2020 on the IEA SHC Task 59: Renovating Historic Buildings towards Zero Energy.

Register here

Task 59 addresses the renovation of historic buildings, increasing their comfort whilst significantly bringing down the buildings energy demand and CO2 emissions as well as keeping their characteristic values. Given the unique character of each of the buildings, a “standard solution” to fit every case cannot be identified, yet Task 59 combines considerable experience on specific cases available, which need to be evaluated, exploited and promoted.

In this webinar, five speakers will guide you through real world renovation experiences – by building owners and design teams, who express their needs, concerns and experiences and the Task 59 experts who introduce the diverse tools which can help you in the decision and design process of an exemplary historic building energy retrofit project.

– Alexandra Troi: Task 59 Operating Agent

– Walter Hüttler: Lead of Task 59 Subtask A introducing the Historic Building Energy Retrofit Atlas

– Tor Broström: Lead of Task 59 Subtask B introducing the decision making processes following EN 16883 on sustainably improving the energy performance of historic buildings

– Pavel Sevela: Lead of Task 59 Subtask C introducing tools for the renovation decision making process

– Daniel Herrera: Presenting the case study of the renovation of the Rainhof in South Tyrol/Italy 

Q/A session where attendees can submit their questions to the speakers.

The webinar is organized by the Solar Academy of the IEA SHC Programme and hosted by ISES, the International Solar Energy Society – the webinar presentations as well as the recording will be made available on both the IEA SHC and the ISES website after the webinar.

PV in Australia 2018

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

The 2018 report can be found here.

Solar Awareness for Tradespeople

This guide and associated short course have been developed by GSES to inform other tradespeople how to work safely near existing solar systems.

It can be downloaded for free here.

Currently there are over 2 million houses in Australia with a grid connected solar (photovoltaic) system on their roof and interconnected to the grid. There are approximately 6,000 electricians accredited by the Clean Energy Council to install these systems. These “solar electricians” have been trained in the safe installation and operation of these systems.

Over the last 20 years standards have been developed to allow for the safe installation of these systems,however these standards have been updated regularly to reflect changes required due to the rapid changesand growth of the industry. The result is that a system installed in 2000, that is still operating, will have been installed differently to what is being installed today. Some of the differences will be the type of cable that has been installed between the solar array and the inverter (the inverter converts the solar power to a.c. power that feeds into the building and onto the grid), the number and type of switch disconnectors (isolators), the signage and whether the solar array has been bonded to earth.

This guide details the variations in solar system installations a tradesperson might encounter when working near a solar system, distribution boards and switchboards. The variations often relate to signage, cabling requirements and isolation/protection requirements. For all tradespeople it will be important to be aware of where the solar array is installed, where the inverter is installed, the associated cabling between the array and inverter and the associated switches/isolators. Electricians who have not undertaken solar training need to appreciate that a grid connected solar system is a separate generation system in parallel with the exiting grid and that cables associated with the system must not to be used for any other electrical connection and only be used for the interconnection of the grid connected PV system.

How Much Rooftop Solar can be Installed in Australia?

This report estimates the total potential for rooftop solar to be 179 gigawatts with an annual energy output of 245 terawatt-hours.

It was produced in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, and can be downloaded here. The analysis was undertaken by Jessie Copper, Mike Roberts and Anna Bruce, Australia’s experts in solar potential spatial analysis and creators of the APVI SunSPoT Tool.

What do these figures mean?

The potential annual output from rooftop solar is greater than current consumption in the national electricity market (just under 200 TWh per year).Australia is currently using less than 5 per cent of the potential capacity for rooftop solar.

Where is the greatest potential for rooftop solar?

• Around half of the unused potential for rooftop solar is in residential zones.

• While most would think of dense urban centres in capital cities for rooftop solar, the second largest potential (34 GW) is in primary / rural production zones.

• Commercial and industrial zones together have the potential for 26 GW of rooftop solar.

In interpreting these results, it is important to understand that planning zones do not correspond neatly with building types. There are commercial buildings inside residential, mixed, industrial and primary production zones. Consequently, some of the capacity inside primary and rural production zones is likely to be commercial and industrial buildings.

As a first study, there will be further data that will refine this estimate in time– and beyond refinements of the APVI methods for factors such as shading there will be rooftops that are not actually suitable for solar (e.g. due to structural integrity issues).

Our study does not suggest Australia could or should source all its power from rooftop solar. But noting these caveats, our study does indicate that even with the strong recent growth, Australia has only just scratched the surface of the potential. There are still many barriers to rooftop solar which if they were to be addressed by governments, investors and communities could unlock a large volume of clean energy.

Maps of the rooftop solar potential for each Local Government Area are available on the Australian Renewable Mapping Initiative (AREMI) and APVI Map website.

IEA PVPS Snapshot of Global PV 2019

This report is a global snapshot of PV developments that is compiled by the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme.

It reports on the global uptake by region and by country, according to capacity and electricity generation. It can be accessed here.

Solar Trends Report for Solar Citizens

This report was commissioned by Solar Citizens and written by some of the brightest minds at UNSW Sydney and the Australian PV Institute. It shines the light on the exciting progress that Australian households have made towards repowering our nation with clean, affordable solar. The analysis also found that Australia has the rooftop potential to increase residential solar capacity to a staggering 43GW–61GW—well above the approximate 6GW that’s currently installed.

The Full Report can be found here, and an Executive Summary, written by Solar Citizens, can be found here.

Australia hits 10GW solar

The PV industry broke a whole set of new records in September. Australia now has over 10.1 GW of solar installed, capable of delivering 14.6 TWhrs and meeting more than 5.5% of Australia’s energy demand. September data from the APVI shows accelerated growth in utility scale solar, particularly benefiting rural and regional Australia.

The full media release can be found here.

Workshop on High Penetration Variable Renewables in Pacific Island Countries: Small grids and Off-grid

10am to 4:30pm, Fri 7th Dec, UNSW, Sydney

This workshop is being held in conjunction with the 2018 APSRC. The aims of the workshop are to:

  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities of introducing more variable renewable energy into small grid and off grid contexts in the Pacific
  • Hear from a range of invited speakers regarding the status of VRE integration, key challenges and solutions to facilitate high penetration VRE in small grids and improved off grid energy service delivery
  • Identify potential future work to address key issues and themes arising in the discussion

The flyer is available here, and please register for catering purposes.

Three CEEM Workshops on Distributed Energy Tools and Analysis

10am to 4:30pm, Mon 3rd Dec, UNSW, Sydney

In conjunction with the 2018 APSRC, CEEM is holding three end of year Workshops on their research projects related to distributed energy. At the workshops, they will describe their open source modelling tools, present their findings, and seek feedback from stakeholders about challenges and opportunities and how their tools can be most useful.

Please register for the event. The flyer, including registration details, is available here.

Task 12 report: Human Health Risk Assessment Methods for PV. Part 1: Fire Risks

This report presents an analysis of potential human health impacts associated with chemical release from modules during a building fire for three PV technologies, focusing on airborne release of the highest‐prioritized chemical element for each.

Fire hazard analysis methods are presented that can estimate emissions that may occur when PV modules (hereafter mostly referred to simply as “modules”) are exposed to fire, estimate the associated chemical concentrations in ambient air downwind from the fire, and finally compare these exposure‐point concentrations to health‐protective screening levels.

A 2 page summary can be found here, and the media release is here

PV in Australia 2017

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

The media release summary can be found here.

Spatial Analysis of Solar Potential in Adelaide

Key Findings

Our analysis shows that Adelaide CBD could generate more than 25% of its electricity needs from its own rooftops, with the installation of 129 MW of solar on CBD rooftops.

Using the average results from our 4 methods:

  • There is potential to install 129MW of solar photovoltaics on CBD rooftops
  • There is potential for 32 times the existing PV deployment
  • 43% of the total roof area could accommodate 516,000 solar panels
  • This could generate 174GWh annually

    o meeting 26% of the CBD energy demand
    o supplying the equivalent of 34,000 SA households
    o avoiding 77,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions

  • CBD electricity customers could save up to an estimated $54 million per year

Analysis of 3 case study buildings in Adelaide’s CBD suggests potential solar PV capacities of:

  • 350kW on the Centrepoint Building,
  • 840 kW on the Central Market, and
  • 1300 kW on the central building of Adelaide Convention Centre.

Spatial Analysis of Solar Potential in Melbourne

Key Findings:

The Australian PV Institute analysis shows that Melbourne LGA could generate more than 12% of its electricity needs from its own rooftops, with the installation of 461 MW of solar on its rooftops.

Using the average results from our 4 methods:

  • There is potential to install 461MW of solar photovoltaics on City of Melbourne rooftops
  • This represents a one-hundred fold increase on the existing PV deployment
  • 38% of the total roof area could accommodate close to 2,000,000 solar panels
  • this could generate 548GWh annuallyo meeting an estimated 12% of the LGA energy demand
    o supplying the equivalent of 112,000 Victorian households o avoiding 567,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • Melbourne electricity customers could save up to an estimated $112 million per year

Report: PV Potential in Canberra

The report includes:

  1. An assessment of PV Potential in Canberra CBD
  2. An estimate of the potential impact of rooftop PV on local electricity consumption and emissions
  3. Identification of rooftops with the largest PV potential (area available) in the CBD
  4. Three case studies of PV Potential on landmark buildings in Canberra

Hear from Leading Solar Researchers in Melbourne in December 2017

Australia continues to set records across the board in solar, from new materials and devices to consumer interest and install rates. The rate of change of progress is rapid and to stay current with the latest in technology developments and deployment, each year, Australia’s leading solar researchers get together in an annual conference, with international and regional colleagues.

This year that conference will be held in Melbourne from 5-7 of
December. http://apvi.org.au/solar-research-conference/ at the Bayview Eden, Melbourne.

More information available here

Survey of faults and issues with PV systems and components

A web-based survey has been developed to capture typical faults in PV systems when exposed to the range of climates in Australia.

Although PV systems are very reliable, conditions in Australia can be very harsh and so equipment can fail or output can simply be suboptimal. Very little information is available on the types of problems that occur, where they occur and how often. The survey can be found here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/revised_pvportal

Guideline to Introducing Quality Renewable Energy Technician Training Programs

This document is intended as a guide for The Renewable Energy Industry, Multi-Lateral and Bi- Lateral Donors and Government Ministries/Departments that want to introduce competency based quality renewable training programs for technicians into a country or region.

The guide provides an overview of: 1. QualityTrainingFrameworks;

  1. The processes involved in developing competency based Quality-Training programs; and
  2. The capacity building requirements for the technical and vocational education sector

The overall objective of the guide is to enable stakeholders to identify the best way to introduce renewable energy courses into an existing quality training framework or, if one does not exist, to establish a process whereby the training being provided is following quality procedures.

The guide concludes with recommendation that the Global Renewable Energy Industry should consider the introduction of an international framework that would provide a mechanism for renewable energy training programs to be accredited by a third party.

PV in Australia 2016

The media release summary can be found here.

The APVI represents Australia in the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS). This report is part of Australia’s contribution to this program.

This report is recognised as a leading publication for tracking progress in the PV sector in Australia.

Report: PV Potential in Brisbane

The report includes:

  1. An assessment of PV Potential in Brisbane CBD
  2. An estimate of the potential impact of rooftop PV on local electricity consumption and emissions
  3. Identification of rooftops with the largest PV potential (area available) in the CBD
  4. Three case studies of PV Potential on landmark buildings in Brisbane

Germany: Impact of solar eclipse on system security

This report covers a retrospective view on early evaluations of the effects of the solar eclipse on March 20th 2015 on the German energy supply system.

It can be downloaded here

It gives an overview of the German and European power system operation from a preparation stage to a real-time operation as a successful practice of the solar eclipse.

The problem-free operation of the German energy supply system with about 37 GWp of installed PV capacity during the solar eclipse  shows that the integration of renewable energies into the supply system has already made great progress. The European case described in this report demonstrates that with high awareness and international communication the impact on an energy supply system, and the available and needed measures to safely operate it during the event, can be successfully estimated. The lessons learned described here might be a guide for upcoming events with even higher penetration of PV.