The federal government has committed $40 million to the research and development of low-cost solar panels. It’s a massive boost for researchers, especially considering Australia has long been at the forefront of solar technology. In total, the Renewable Energy Agency received $1.6 billion in funding last year, and has now agreed to use $40 million of that to research cheaper ways of producing solar energy. Under the government’s low-emissions roadmap, low-cost solar is one of the top priorities.
What does low-cost solar mean?
Essentially, it means lowering the cost of producing solar energy. While solar energy is, of course, free from the sun, there is still a cost in making the solar panels and equipment used to harness solar energy. In addition, solar energy plays a part in the production of other green energy.
Carbon capture and storage, for example, requires electricity to power the compressors that suck carbon from the atmosphere. Cheaper solar energy could be used as an alternative. Producing green hydrogen also requires electricity, which could be replaced with solar energy to make the process even more environmentally friendly.
It is hoped the new cash injection into research will help to increase solar panel efficiency to 30%, and also reduce the cost to 30c per watt by 2030. This target is called Solar 30 30 30, and aims to make solar power cheaper and further displace the use of fossil fuels to power the main electricity grid.
A history of solar innovation
Australian researchers have been a massive part of global solar innovation for a long time now. In fact, 90% of solar panels in the world use technology that was designed in Australia. University of NSW Professor Martin Green and his engineering team invented Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell solar technology back in 1983, researchers at the same university developed the solar photovoltaic cell which is used in most panels around the world.
Want to slash your energy bills today?
Ahlec Solar are leading providers of high-quality, reliable solar products for homes and businesses. Our professional solar installers on the Sunshine Coast are available to get your home up and running with free solar energy today. With a range of on-grid and off-grid solar solutions, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars every single year and be part of Australia’s clean, green revolution.
Contact our friendly team today and arrange a free no-obligation solar consultation. We can analyse your existing energy consumption, recommend the perfect solar system for your home, and even show you how much you’ll save.