Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency Commits $20 Million To Boosting Solar PV R&D

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced this week that it is committing $20 million in funding to boost the growth of solar PV research and development in an effort to make solar PV more affordable, efficient, and competitive.

On Tuesday, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced its third competitive research and development funding round. Since 2012, ARENA has committed $109.3 million in funding to solar PV, providing financing to research and development projects, fellowships, and scholarships. In fact, ARENA claims that its funding has helped to break 14 separate solar efficiency world records.

“This dedicated research and development funding for solar PV is part of our commitment to finding and supporting further breakthroughs in solar PV,” said Ivor Frischknecht, ARENA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Australia has some of the best solar PV researchers in the world, and we want to build on what we’ve already accomplished. This leverage the impressive gains already made in cost reduction and cell efficiency. And that is just the beginning. We see a future where solar cells might be on every surface.”

Earlier this month, ARENA published its roadmap for new investment priorities over the coming years, including a desire to accelerate solar PV innovation and development to the point where the technology could provide 30% of the country’s electricity within the next 20 years. ARENA aims to guide almost AUD$800 million in funding over the next few years.

The latest round of financing will focus on providing solar PV researchers with the resources necessary to undertake projects focusing on emerging and established solar PV cell and modules technologies, with grants expected to range anywhere between $500,000 and $5 million for any one single project.