ARENA awards $29.2 million to 20 solar R&D projects

ARENA has offered funding to research teams from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia National University (ANU), Monash University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Projects to be funded include a joint effort between ANU and UNSW, both of which will work alongside leading industry players to research the leading causes of power loss across the entire silicon PV production chain. Another project receiving funding concerns the next generation of bifacial solar cells.

While ARENA states that the bulk of this round of funding was awarded to silicon PV projects, additional funding was also provided to an ANU project researching high efficiency perovskite solar, and other projects developing printable solar cells and new PV materials. Earlier this week, ARENA also announced a further $6 million in funding to Australian cell maker Greatcell, to assist its research into perovskite commercialization.

“In this funding round, the candidates and the caliber was so high, we actually increased the total funding we awarded to nearly $30 million,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. “This research will improve the technological and commercial readiness of new innovation in solar PV cells and modules, enhance Australia’s position as world leaders in solar PV R&D and address Australian specific conditions.”