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July/August 2011

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Ocean power lights up in Lorne

AquaGen Technologies has installed the first wave energy system at Lorne Pier, and is now generating emissions-free electricity from the ocean’s waves.

Australian feed-in tariffs: is the solar party over?

By Sally Commins

The recent reductions and closures of numerous Australian feed-in tariff shemes has led many to question over what lies ahead for the solar photovoltaic industry.

Sun sets on Solar Credits

In May, the Federal Government announced that the Solar Credits scheme would be reduced to a multiple of three rather than the anticipated four, effective 1 July 2011.

The NZ ETS: carbon pricing in the neighbourhood

By Basil Sharp, University of Auckland Business School, and Nan Jiang, Doctor of Applied Econometrics

The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was legislated in late 2008 as part of a suite of actions taken by the nation to ratify its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. New Zealand became the first country to implement an emissions trading scheme that included all gases and all major sectors.

Carbon pricing and a clean energy future

By Wayne Smith, Director, Clean Economy Services

In the last edition of EcoGeneration, the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, outlined a vision of Australia’s clean energy future, which appeared to be at sharp odds with those of other senior Ministers.

On Garnaut: industry comment

By Rachel Purchase

On 31 May this year Professor Ross Garnaut’s updated Garnaut Climate Change Review was released. EcoGeneration found out what Australia’s leading clean energy industry players have to say about Professor Garnaut’s climate action strategy.

Association matters

Industry associations play an important role in industry development, advocating for effective policy, promoting awareness, and fostering business opportunities for their members. EcoGeneration provides an update on what some of the industry’s associations have been up to recently.

Clean energy marketing: the value of advertising online

Does your company’s marketing plan include a budget for online ads? Find out why placing advertisements online is no longer an optional extra.

Gas snap shot

EcoGeneration brings you details of some gas power stations that have recently come online.

Talking gas with ERM Power

EcoGeneration recently spoke with Philip St Baker, Managing Director of integrated energy company ERM Power Limited. Mr St Baker discussed Braemar, ERM Power's latest, project and offered his thoughts on where he sees gas fitting into the energy mix.

Darling Downs powers up with gas

Australia's largest combined cycle gas-fired power station recently opened in Darling Downs, near Dalby in southern Queensland. Owned and operated by Origin Energy, the Darling Downs Power Station has a capacity of 630 megawatts.

5 minutes with…Simon Helps, National Sales Manager, MWM Energy Australia

Joining MWM in early 2007, Simon Helps has brought a focus on the development of cogeneration and trigeneration applications in the built environment, establishing new paths to market for MWM’s range of gas and diesel engines.

BlueGen – mini power stations for the world

By Brendan Dow, Chief Executive Officer, Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited

Australia’s growing population is adding great pressure to the provision – and cost – of electricity. Ceramic Fuel Cells offers a viable alternative solution to rising electricity costs through its gas-to-electricity technology, BlueGen.

Connect with your industry at EcoGen 2011

The clean energy industry is counting down to the EcoGen 2011 Conference and Exhibition, the premier industry event taking place at the Brisbane Convention Centre from 5–7 September.

Visit the Australian solar amusement park

By Warwick Johnston, Manager, SunWiz Consulting

A rollercoaster: the Australian solar power industry’s ups and downs have earned this frequently-mentioned moniker. The first half of 2011 has proved this point, with skyrocketing installations being countered by dives in solar subsidies. But perhaps a new metaphor is overdue, for solar power is now being installed at such a fast rate that this rollercoaster is about to become airborne.

Clean energy celebrates

Held in Melbourne in the first week of May, Clean Energy Week attracted delegates from Australia and around the world to hear the latest on clean energy policy, project financing and the development of clean energy technologies, as well as provide an educational resource for the public.

7 EcoGeneration must-reads!

Available on the EcoGeneration website, a wealth of solar energy insight is waiting! Read on for a selection of the most-read articles from our recent editions.

Putting PV plug connectors to the test

Using a reliable PV plug connector can be integral to maintaining the efficiency and ensuring longevity in a photovoltaic system. EcoGeneration takes a look at some of the photovoltaic plug connectors on the market today.

Increasing solar cell efficiency in Australia

A three-year research agreement for increasing solar cell efficiency has been announced by Trina Solar through its subsidiary, Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co Ltd. The research partnership will be held with the Australian National University.

Polepower on Magnetic Island

By Grant Behrendorff, Director, Evolve Energy

Magnetic Island, off the coast from Townsville in North Queensland is perhaps best known for it’s idyllic beaches and holiday hideouts, but for the last 12 months it has also been the location of a world first demonstration of a highly innovative pole-mounted solar power system.

Outback renewable energy on the Horizon

As energy users rush to install renewable energy systems, energy utilities are grappling with the technical challenges of receiving uncontrolled distributed energy into isolated systems, which were designed to distribute energy from a central point.

Solar Australia: the magazine dedicated to the Australian solar industry

In August, the inaugural edition of Australia’s leading solar industry magazine will be launched.

SunPower announces new E20 Series

SunPower has announced that it has broken another world record for panel efficiency with the launch of the new E20 Series, the first commercially available, 20 per cent efficient solar panels.

BP Solar receives new ‘VDE Quality Tested’ seal

BP Solar, as a leading designer and marketer of photovoltaic products, is one of the very first companies certified by the international certification body, the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, to comply with its new testing requirements.

Oceans of opportunity

Carnegie Wave Energy, BioPower Systems and Oceanlinx are making big waves in the ocean-power industry. EcoGeneration’s Rachel Purchase spoke with the leaders of these companies about recent achievements and current projects.

Australian ocean power– waves, tides and other ocean currents

By Mark Hemer and David Griffin, of the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship

The emergence of ocean-power generation in Australia

Ocean power lights up in Lorne

AquaGen Technologies has installed the first wave energy system at Lorne Pier, and is now generating emissions-free electricity from the ocean’s waves.

Intelligent design: implementing the Smart Grid, Smart City project

The foundations for the Smart Grid, Smart City project are well underway, with the installation of more than 200 sensors and the construction of all 4G wireless communication sites either completed or underway.

The 21st century electric grid

By Paul De Martini, Chief Technical Officer and Vice President, Smart Grid Business Unit, Cisco Systems

For Australia and indeed the world, the challenge for utilities and electric service firms has now become how to invest in existing core business, as well as to foster innovation and remain flexible to accommodate inevitable changes in market structures and resources.

Not-so-dramatic SENEs: Draft Rule on scale efficient network extensions issued

By Anna Collyer, Partner, and Fergus Green, Lawyer, Allens Arthur Robinson

The Australian Energy Market Commission recently issued a Draft Rule and Draft Rule Determination on scale efficient network extensions. While the purpose of this was to facilitate more efficient connection of renewable and lower-emissions energy sources to the electricity grid, the adopted solution is considerably more conservative than the one the Ministerial Council on Energy originally proposed.

An electrifying revolution

Electricity network company Ausgrid, the University of New South Wales and the University of Newcastle's Institute for Energy and Resources, have teamed up to form the Centre for Intelligent Electricity Networks.

Up close with Sean Sutton, President, Vestas Asia Pacific

In his role as the President of Vestas Asia Pacific Wind Technology Systems, Sean Sutton is responsible for the provision of clean wind energy solutions for Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, New Zealand, South East Asia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.

Compact, powerful and versatile – Solar Lord central solar hot water systems

Forward-thinking developers and building designers are these days looking to integrate more and more energy-saving products and additions into their new constructions. This greatly improves the marketability of the project and satisfies increasing customer demand for greener living spaces. But where should one begin, and which green products are the most beneficial to both developers and clients alike?

Fronius launches solar system monitoring app

Fronius has recently launced an app for iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android smartphones that allows photovoltaic systems data to be visualised easily and free of charge.

Making quality visible: SCHOTT

It is now quite usual for manufacturers to voluntarily issue warranties on their solar modules. In general, module manufacturers offer warranties on performance between 20 and 25 years, which are based on certificates complying with International Electrotechnical Commission standards.

Matt Daly: “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

Recently, EcoGeneration interviewed Matt Daly, General Manager of REC Solar on the future of the renewable energy sector at Clean Energy Week, located in Melbourne in May.

Eaton powers up for solar future

The efficient use of solar energy is not only a trend but an essential requirement due to the growing worldwide demand for electricity. However, like other sources of electricity, solar power systems need to be reliable, cost-effective and safe to operate.

The dawn of Bosch solar energy in Australia

Bosch Solar Energy entered the Australian market in late 2010 to expand into one of the fastest growing sectors within the renewable energies industry.

Solco Solar Products: maximising your system’s output

Today’s best installations are designed to maximise power output across the entire system. An array, however, is limited by the weakest panel in a string and individual panel performance can vary dramatically.

Sunny Roo Products: offering managed solar solutions

Businesses can grow into the green energy sector, gain a new market share and offer a completely new product mix for far less than you imagine. Managed solutions are the easiest way for businesses to adopt solar power and reap the benefits.

Neopower – outstanding solar hot water systems at competitive price

The Neopower solar system consists of an open-circuit system with roof-mounted evacuated tubes and a ground mounted hot water storage tank. The evacuated tube system can be used in frost-prone areas.

How to cut power costs and be eco-friendly

A new evolution of solar air conditioning could cut power bills by half and overtake conventional systems within the next few years.

Eltek Valere: global power conversion specialist

Drawing on 40 years of experience in power electronics, Eltek Valere is committed to meeting the power conversion needs of the photovoltaic industry.

Adelaide’s Central Market shows off its clean credentials

Adelaide’s historic Central Market now has a 21st century twist, thanks to the latest solar photovoltaic installation from the Adelaide Solar City project.

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