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This Week in Solar: Solar Cells from Space and Green Home Loan

1. Climate Change and the Need for Renewable Energy

There are many scientific studies that indicate the reality and significance of climate change. One of the ways to reduce the drain on resources currently being experienced by the planet is to shift to systems that utilise renewable energy, such as solar power.

2. This Material Could Squeeze More Energy from Solar Panels

The key lies with perovskite, a crystalline structure first discovered in Russia in the mid-1800s. Engineers want to use the material to build cheaper and more efficient solar panels—potentially in tandem with silicon-based panels, which are popular and more durable.

3. ‘Snowball effect’: Bushfire smoke reduces solar panel efficiency, increases load on coal-fired power

Solar monitoring company Solar Analytics said on New Year’s Day, solar panels in Canberra were only operating at 55 per cent capacity because of the oppressive haze.

4. CEFC, Bank of Australia launch first green home loan program

The federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is investing up to $60 million in a green home loan program launched in partnership with Bank of Australia.

5. Solar cells from space are on the way

In separate announcements it has emerged Chinese module manufacturer Jinko Solar and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are both exploring the production of PV technologies used in space to improve solar power returns back on Earth.

6. Australia installs 2.13 GW of rooftop solar in 2019

The final tally was 2.13 GW of sub-100kW systems registered in 2019 following a record installation surge in December, according to solar analyst SunWiz. This represents a jump of a 35% year-on-year and puts the grand total at 10 GW.

7. Australia’s biggest steel city, Wollongong, targets net zero emissions by 2050

The Council voted unanimously in favour of the 2030 target on Monday night, and for the much more significant and ambitious target of zero emissions by 2050 for the entire local government area.

8. The three key actions that might shift the global climate change crisis

A primary part of solving this challenge is the obvious action of replacing fossil fuels, which are currently responsible for more than 73 per cent of global emissions. We must move to capture and utilise energy from both the sun and wind – something Australia has had a keen eye on for a number of years now.

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