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Renewable energy technology receives funding boost from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency

Australian Renewable Energy Agency to provide $892,000 to CSIRO for the development of Perovskite solar photovoltaic cells

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) just announced it would support the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) project to specify guidelines for measuring the performance of Perovskite solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.

There is a need for a set of guidelines due to the fact that the international standards were developed when only silicon wafer cells were existing.

This technology is thought to have the potential to drastically reduce the cost of renewable energy. This is due to the nature of it being a cheaper alternative to traditional silicon cells.

“If perovskite solar cell technology matures to commercialisation, it has the potential to provide cheaper power from the sun. Perovskite can be turned into solar PV cells with a less cost and labour intensive process than required with silicon,” stated ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht.

The CSIRO project proposes that a set of guidelines for this technology will reduce the risk of scientific misinterpretation and misdirected research by unaccredited laboratories. The project will also assess how fabrication processes affect the effectiveness of evolving PV devices.

CSIRO also aims to build the knowledge capacity and skills for assessing PV device performance. This is hoped to increase investment potential of innovative technologies, removing any obstacles to PV tech developers.

Mr. Frischknecht stated, “A standard approach to measuring the performance of new solar cell technologies will provide a level playing field for researchers and ensure that funding support is directed at the materials and fabrication processes with the greatest potential for success.”

CSIRO will begin by applying the new PV guidelines at the ARENA backed PV Performance Lab in Newcastle. The lab is the first and only in the Southern Hemisphere internationally accredited to measure solar PV cell performance.

Mr. Frischknecht believes that keeping the PV researchers on Australian shores will reduce the risk and costs for the project.

This project will be completed by 2018 at an estimated total project value of $2.21 million.

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