ARENA offers USD 27m in R&D funds to back ultra low cost solar goal

New South Wales solar park. Author: Chris Baird. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic.

January 10 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said Monday it will provide up to AUD 40 million (USD 28.6m/EUR 25.3m) in funding for research and development (R&D) to advance the Australian government’s stretch goal for ultra low cost solar.

The funding will support cost-reducing innovations across two streams – cells and modules; and balance of system, operations and maintenance – and is expected to be split equally between them.

It comes after in November the Australian government added ultra low cost solar as a priority technology in its latest Low Emissions Technology Statement (LETS), setting a stretch goal for solar generation at AUD 15 per MWh, which is around a third of current costs.

Cheap solar is seen as key to reducing the costs of other priority low emissions technologies such as clean hydrogen, as well as to helping heavy industry to decarbonise through green steel and aluminium, for instance.

The funding will also support ARENA’s Solar 30 30 30 target of solar cell efficiency of 30% and solar farm construction costs of AUD 0.30 per watt by 2030.

The funding round will open on February 7, with expressions of interest due by April 11, 2022.

(AUD 1 = USD 0.715/EUR 0.633)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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