About Richard Chirgwin

Richard Chirgwin is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing and science.

Want To Learn Energy Systems Modelling? A Free Grad Course To Get You Started


Thought a grad course in Energy Systems Modelling would cost thousands? Thanks to COVID you can do a full graduate course for free online.

Worried about how a renewable-powered world keeps the lights on when “the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow”? Interested in energy systems modelling? [Read more…]

ARENA Study: Network Upgrades Better Than Solar Curtailment

citi power powercor report - Future Grid For Distributed Energy

More solar power on the grid has its challenges. Lots of people (and governments) are claiming the challenges can be solved with batteries and inverter control. Those solutions have a part to play, but a new study suggests there is important work to be done upgrading local networks.

While electricity distributors emphasise the importance of seeing “behind the meter” to manage the impact of renewable energy on low voltage (LV) networks, a study published by ARENA suggests network upgrades are going to be more effective in the long term. [Read more…]

New Solar Carport Design Allows 72 Panels To Be Installed In One Day

solar carpark

Don’t you wish rooftop solar was this easy? 72 panels installed in a day.

This is cool: PVDynamics in South Australia has come up with a fast, low-labour way to put solar panel roofs on outdoor structures such as pergolas and car parks. [Read more…]

Community Batteries Benefit The Grid More Says Latest Research

Community batteries - benefits

There is a middle ground between home and utility-scale batteries: the community battery. New research shows community batteries bring more benefit than individually owned energy storage systems.

The ACT government reckons there’s a gap between the household battery and grid-scale batteries: community batteries, either owned by or at least serving the needs of collectives of households. [Read more…]

Solar Power Is Getting Cheaper, Faster Than Anyone Predicted

Ramez Naam on the cost of solar energy

Solar energy is getting cheaper faster than anyone predicted says Ramez Naam.

Utility-scale solar electricity is going to drive fossil fuels out of the power generation market, sooner rather than later, according to clean energy investor and advocate Ramez Naam. [Read more…]

Regional Victorian Councils Go Public With EV Charger Strategy

EV charger locations in Victoria

If you haven’t got a Tesla EV (red dots =. Tesla chargers) then your options to recharge across Victoria are limited.

Regional Victoria is awash with public EV charging stations if you happen to be a Tesla owner. An April report by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance says if Tesla charging stations (only usable by cars of the same marque) are excluded from an assessment of that state’s charging infrastructure, EV drivers face coverage gaps away from the city. [Read more…]

National Geographic Gives You A Peek At Your Hometown’s Climate – In 2070

Your Climate, Changed

What will your local climate be like in 2070?

Okay, this is cool: National Geographic’s latest contribution to climate change education is to try and give people a way to understand what their home cities will be like 50 years from now, if climate change follows the RCP 8.5 scenario. [Read more…]

New Behind-The-Meter Data Guidelines Could Reduce Solar Export Restrictions

Behind the meter data

To integrate solar power into the grid more efficiently, the grid operators need to know what’s happening with your solar system. That means looking behind your meter.

With 9GW of solar PV installed, Australia’s enthusiastic embrace of household renewables is starting to bump into system capacity issues. As I wrote last week discussing the advent of the two-sided market, the time is coming where the energy sector will need to be able to reach behind the meter and manage the consumer-side resources such as rooftop generated solar electricity. [Read more…]

COAG Energy Council Wants To Expose Consumers To Wholesale Energy Price

COAG Energy Security Board - a two-sided market

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council has issued a consultation paper designed to inform the NEM’s transition to a two-sided market. [Read more…]

‘Solar Lamp’ Social Enterprise Pollinate Needs Our Help For Its COVID-19 Work

Pollinate Group, solar lights and COVID-19

Pollinate Group distribute solar lights in India & Nepal. Those communities are being hit hard by COVID-19.

Regular readers will recall that SolarQuotes is a supporter of a remarkable enterprise called Pollinate Group, which supports communities in Nepal and India with solar lamps (comprising a 3.3 watt solar panel, a 3000mAh battery, 165 lumen LED and 2 USB charging ports)  to replace unpleasant and dangerous kerosene lamps. [Read more…]