• For the first time ARENA is seeking proposals for research into end-of-life issues for solar PV panels
  • Such proposals must look into increasing their efficiency and lowering their costs
  • Other research proposals sought relate to improvements to advanced silicon, tandem silicon and new materials
  • February 26, 2020 is the last date to submit EOI for eligible projects to avail of AUD 15 million funding from ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is seeking research proposals to explore end-of-life issues for solar PV panels, ways to increase their efficiency and lowering their costs. Eligible projects will be able to secure up to AUD 15 million ($10.3 million) in funding from the agency.

It is the first time that ARENA is considering such issues to address solutions to end-of-life issues for solar PV technology, it said.

With the world witnessing a solar boom currently and in the times to come, ways must be devised to sustainably manage solar PV panels when they reach the end of their work life. ARENA will be supporting projects that can help improve economics of reusing and recycling of the materials used in the manufacturing of solar panels that can be done with lower costs for both utility scale as well as rooftop solar panels.

For its fifth round of research and development (R&D) for solar PV technology, along with end-of-life issues, ARENA funding will support projects that propose improvements to advanced silicon, tandem silicon and new materials. 

Currently, solar PV panel recycling adds a cost to the supply chain. R&D can help find innovative solutions to reduce this cost, enabling sustainable and cost effective management of solar panels at the end of their life,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller. “More efficient and lower cost solar PV can underpin the growth of a renewable hydrogen industry, can drive the electrification of transport and industrial processes, and can reduce the costs of delivering secure and reliable renewable electricity.”

Applications for the initial expression of interest (EOI) round will be accepted till February 26, 2020 and shortlisted applicants will be informed in early April 2020. Details of the EOI can be viewed on ARENA website.