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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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Supporting world class solar research and development

Published: Wednesday, 13 December 2017

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The Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing $29 million to twenty R&D projects that will further accelerate the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology – improving its efficiency and reducing its costs.

The successful candidates of Round Three of ARENA’s Research and Development program comprise research teams from four leading Australian institutions: the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University, Monash University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Together with contributions from a range of partners, such as Jinko Solar and Longi Solar, and leading research institutions from Asia, Europe and the United States, the total value of the projects is $102 million.

“Australia is at the forefront of solar PV technology development – our researchers regularly break world records,” said Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.

“This funding will see that we continue to increase our skills, capacity and knowledge, as we seek to deliver more affordable and reliable power, while transitioning to a lower emissions future.”

“The initiative is designed to not only enhance our world class research position, but also address conditions specific to our nation, where more than one in five households already have solar panels fitted.

“It could lead several breakthroughs, ranging from the development of printable solar cells that can be easily rolled up and transported, to the integration of semi-transparent solar cells into windows.”

Other projects include:

  • setting new efficiency records for solar PV cells;
  • offering cheaper, greener and less toxic materials;
  • using new materials to reduce manufacturing costs;
  • the development of solar cells that rely on more abundant elements;
  • replacing high cost metals with low cost alternatives;
  • improving the quality of silicon material and therefore its lifespan; and
  • delivering new ways to rectify cell defects.

“All projects focus on efficiency and cost effectiveness – whether they be developing promising materials, improving manufacturing methods or scaling up new technology,” said Minister Frydenberg.

“By ensuring that we are technology ready, the commercial deployment of renewable technology in Australia will remain in the fast lane.”

  • The University of New South Wales (UNSW): 11 projects ($16.43 million)
  • The Australian National University (ANU): 6 projects ($7.89 million)
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO): 1 project ($3.31 million)
  • Monash University: 2 projects ($1.59 million)
  • Total: 20 projects ($29.22 million)

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