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Clean Energy Week 2013: Highlights

Clean Energy Week 2013, hosted by the Clean Energy Council, welcomed over 2,000 attendees to Brisbane 24–26 July to discuss the theme of ‘rethinking energy’.

GSES was there in force, with five staff members attending and Engineer and Trainer Matthew O’Regan presenting (to a packed room) “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, a very well-received report on the past year’s installation record.

Highlights of the conference included:

  • An overview of the Clean Energy Council’s System Performance Estimator tool, which is available for accredited members to use.
  • Notification that Queensland and Tasmania have started to require Electrical Equipment Safety System compliance for equipment, including solar paraphernalia – modules, inverters, etc. – through the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (https://www.erac.gov.au/).
  • Interesting discussions surrounding the need to review the NEM in light of the increase in RE generators. Owing to characteristics like zero fuel costs, RE generators are not suited to the current NEM and, although viable options were raised, there is currently no standout way to resolve this.
  • An excellent presentation from Michelle Taylor (Ergon Energy) discussing the changes raised by the Draft AS4777.1, which is currently open for comment.
  • Promising developments in the Australian-designed Ecoult UltraBattery, although to date it has been used only in large-scale systems (particularly in grid stabilization). It will be interesting to see if it can become cost-effective for small-scale systems.
  • SMA’s new Sunny Boy Smart Energy, a grid-connect inverter containing lithium ion battery storage.
  • Aleo’s PVT module, which combines the production of energy with the production of hot water in one module.

As we close the door on another productive and informative Clean Energy Week conference, we open the next and look forward to more positive results for renewable energy in Australia over the coming years. The importance and impact of the ‘solar revolution’ are highlighted in the Climate Commission’s latest report (https://climatecommission.gov.au/report/solar-energy/) and GSES celebrates Australia’s growing solar passion.

Clean Energy Week 2014 will be held in Adelaide 23–25 July 2014.
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