Australian Government to Fund Solar R&D

Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Peter Batchelor announced more than $8 million for four major research and development (R&D) projects in sustainable energy.

Two of the projects led by the University of Melbourne could involve the eventual replacement of costly silicon-based cells and the development of efficient hydrogen-fueled car engines. “This research highlights the creative and cutting edge work that will be required to tackle the challenges of climate change and a carbon-constrained future,” Batchelor said. “One of the potential large-scale offshoots of the research could see organic solar cells being embedded into manufactured roofing panels for houses and buildings.” Batchelor said the organic solar cells research was on top of other investments in solar energy projects such as the $420 million Solar System’s 154 MW photovoltaic power station in Northern Victoria. He also said the Bracks Government will provide $6 million to the Organic Solar Consortium to research the next generation of large, non-silicon, flexible and cheap organic solar cells.