The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has granted funding for 12 solar and energy storage projects from a field of 110 applicants.  Together with ARENA’s investment of $21.5 million, contributions by Australian and international partners, will bring the total investment in the projects to $70 million.

The projects include:

  • development an innovative tandem solar cell by the University of New South Wales, using perovskite, a material that can be paired with silicon to produce solar panels that could be cheaper and more efficient than conventional silicon-only panels;
  • development by the University of New South Wales of a laser-based processing technology which could lead to a wholly Australian owned state-of-the-art technology for producing commercial solar cells with record-breaking performance with improved process reliability and lower production costs;
  • design by the CSIRO of a heliostat mirror and control system that would enable cost-effective deployment of central-tower solar thermal installations, potentially opening a new domestic market;
  • development by the CSIRO of the components, materials and processes necessary to progress CO2 power cycle technology, which offers efficiencies substantially greater than steam turbines, for concentrated solar thermal plants;
  • work by the ANU, together with Australian solar cell manufacturer Tindo Solar, to optimise solar modules for Australia’s unique and demanding conditions;
  • development by the ANU of an innovative energy storage system that uses concentrating solar thermal technology to drive a high-temperature redox thermochemical cycle; and
  • development by UTS of improved energy storage using lithium-sulfur batteries, currently regarded as the most promising and cost-effective technology for large-scale energy storage.