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Australia grants A$41.5m for ultra-low-cost solar research

The fund will support 13 research projects.

The Australian government has provided $41.5m in funding to support 13 research and development projects that will cut the cost of solar.

In a statement, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said the funding would also support the commercialisation prospects after each project’s R&D phase to assist the entry of new technologies into the market. 

“Australia’s solar researchers have helped to make solar PV the cheapest form of energy in history, but to create a future in which Australian solar energy supplies the world with clean power, fuels and products, we need to be ambitious and drive the cost of solar even lower,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.

This is also in line with ARENA’s “Solar 30 30 30” goal which meant reaching 30% module efficiency and 30% installed watt at the utility-scale by 2030.

READ MORE: Australian gov’t funds grid improvement project

The funding is allocated into two streams. Stream 1 is for cells and modules with A$27.5m in funding and Stream 2 or the Balance of System, operations and maintenance with A$14m. It is awarded to researchers for The University of New South Wales, The Australian National University, and The University of Sydney.

ARENA has committed A$118.5m in grant funding to 145 solar PV projects with 17 institutions since 2012.

In December, the agency also announced the grant of $176m in conditional funding to eight grid-scale battery projects in the country with a total project value of A$2.7b and 2-gigawatt (GW)/4.2GW-hour capacity.

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