Australia is funding ultra-low cost solar power to help achieve zero emissions

Australia supports the research and development of ultra-low cost solar energy. This is a technology that has become a priority in national bidding to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050.

Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is aiming to allocate $ 40 million of its $ 2.5 billion budget to the program and eventually reach “Solar 30 30 30”. It aims to generate 30% solar module efficiency at a cost of 30 cents per unit. Watt, all by 2030.

This means significantly reducing the cost of solar power to about one-third of its current cost, or just $ 15 per MWh (megawatt hour). This is the taxpayer-funded price. CSIROIs well below the $ 100 per MWh figure commonly found in coal and gas power generation.

Importantly, the Australian Government is using cheap solar power to help drive the technological revolution. We hope that this advance will lead to a series of low-emission innovations: affordable “green” hydrogen, low-emission steel and aluminum.

Epoch Times Photo
Aerial view of Darling Downs Solar Farm near Dalby, Queensland, Australia, February 11, 2020. This photo without a date. (AAP image / APA)

The government plans to lower the price of solar power to reduce the cost of producing green hydrogen produced by “electrolysis”, which draws current through water, to a price comparable to the cost of hydrogen produced using it. I am. coal.

In addition, studies of typical high-emission industries such as aluminum and steel have seen ambitious new plans to eventually replace coking coal with hydrogen. There is no commercial scale project of this kind, but Australia plans to achieve this feat by 2040.

Energy and Emissions Minister Angus Taylor said power generation produces about one-third of Australia’s carbon dioxide, the largest of any sector.

“We are working to reduce emissions in the power sector and unleash the potential of other low-emission technologies like clean hydrogen,” Taylor said. Said..

The investment itself is also part of a major move to reduce emissions through “technology, not taxes” by bringing breakthroughs in research applicable to both Australia and the world’s largest emitters, including China. I will be hung up.

Of the $ 40 million allocated, half will be spent on solar cell innovation and the other half will be devoted to improving overall system, operation, and maintenance costs.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller, including SunDrive, a startup backed by Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, has helped Australian solar researchers build on their progress in this area. We believe that we will continue to generate leading innovations.

“Australian solar researchers have been leading the world for decades. Thirty years ago, researchers at UNSW (University of New South Wales) invented the PERC silicon solar cell. Today, it is the technology that underlies more than 80% of the world’s solar panels. “Miller Said..

“That great work continues through ACAP, our university, CSIRO, and a clean energy start-up. Just a few months ago, it was founded by a former UNSW student and is now a Sydney-based startup. SunDrive has created the most efficient solar cells in the world. “

Australia’s research on the development of solar technology is highly regarded on the world stage, but the same is not true of Australia’s solar manufacturing capacity.

Despite nearly a quarter of residential and non-residential buildings with solar panels on the roof, countries with solar cells do not have the ability to produce their own solar cells, instead of solar panels. 90% is imported from China.

Daniel Kumerev


Daniel Khmelev is a Perth-based Australian reporter working on energy, technology and politics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics and computer science. Contact him at [email protected]