SUN SHINES ON REVOLUTIONARY SOLAR CELL TECHNOLOGY

Posted on 01. Jun, 2010 in Greening Victoria

World-leading technology that will make solar cells more efficient as well as cheaper to manufacture and purchase will be developed in Melbourne thanks in part to a $3 million Brumby Labor Government grant.

Environment, Climate Change and Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said the collaboration between Swinburne University of Technology and China’s Suntech Power Holdings will provide a significant boost to the solar power industry and help Victoria combat global warming.

“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to develop clean technologies and renewable energy options that are accessible to all Victorians”, Mr Jennings said.

“Solar cell technology can play an important role in the switch to renewable energy. Yet to date, take-up has been limited due to cost and relative efficiency factors.

“This innovative project has the potential to develop solar cells that are significantly more efficient while lowering manufacturing costs. This will make them more accessible to households and communities and increase their contribution to renewable energy generation.

“Improved efficiency and greater accessibility for all Victorians will also stimulate the industry and create jobs in our state.”

The Victoria–Suntech Advanced Solar Facility at Swinburne has been established through a grant of $3 million from Victoria’s Science Agenda Investment Fund.

Mr Jennings said the new facility will support the development and commercialisation of revolutionary solar photovoltaic technologies, creating prototypes that are more affordable and more efficient than current solar cells.

“Suntech is a leading solar energy company with significant manufacturing capabilities and competitive standing in the global solar market,” he said.

“Swinburne University of Technology has a strong research centre in nano-photonics and will lead the development of a working prototype.

“This partnership between a leading international manufacturer and an innovative university demonstrates the benefits of collaboration between research and industry.

“It will provide clear pathways to the global solar market and it is anticipated that the manufacture of these more efficient solar cells could occur within five years.”

Mr Jennings said the project fitted within the Jobs for the Future Economy—Victoria’s Action Plan for Green Jobs announcement on April.

Please go to: http://www.business.vic.gov.au/busvicwr/_assets/main/lib60254/jobs%20for%20the%20future%20economy.pdf

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