The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing funding of up to $45 million to the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) with a motive to offer assistance in extending its cutting-edge solar photovoltaic (PV) research to 2030.
In order to provide a coordinated and national approach to solar PV research in Australia, Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics came into being. With the main objective of building a pipeline of better technology for enhanced performance and continued cost reduction, it aspires to develop “over the horizon” PV technology.
The initial financing arrangement was signed by the previous Australian Solar Institute in 2012 and transferred to ARENA in 2013, with ARENA funding totalling $83.99 million so far.
Keeping in mind Australia’s globally renowned research and development expertise in solar PV, ACAP plays a critical role with a focus on emission reduction in Australia and around the world. Professor Martin Green of UNSW created the solar technology that is used in 90% of the silicon module panels currently produced worldwide. His research has helped Australia set the efficiency record for 30 from the past 38 years.
The research programme of ACAP supports ARENA’s Solar 30 30 30 initiative, which aims to lower the cost of solar module installation to 30 cents per watt and increase solar PV cell efficiency to 30% by 2030.
A $40 million competitive financing round for ultra-low-cost solar research and development was also launched by ARENA in January 2022, underscoring the significance of expanding solar research and technology to lower costs.
The financing will ensure that ACAP remains one of the top research centres in the world for solar energy and solar PV technology innovation, according to ARENA CEO, Darren Miller.
Mr Miller said, “Solar has significantly reduced costs and increased efficiency over the past ten years, and ACAP plays a key role in Australia’s research efforts in this field.” Australia is punching much above its weight and is a global innovator in solar PV technology. By providing funding for ACAP, we are ensuring that university research groups will support education and training to lead the PV industry.
The upcoming decade promises to be the most interesting in solar PV future with massively increasing uptake and technological progress. With $45 million in funding, ACAP will continue to create world-class technology, including powerful and efficient cell technologies, and expand a scalable, sustainable solar sector.
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