- ARENA will open a AUD 40 million funding round to support commercialization of projects that can lower LCOE of solar PV
- It will be granted as AUD 20 million each for the 2 streams of solar cells and modules, and BOS, operations & maintenance
- EOI will open on February 7, 2022 with April 11, 2022 as the last date of submission
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is set to offer AUD 40 million ($29 million) funding to back research that can ‘materially’ lower the levelized cost of solar PV by 2030, as it plans to support commercialization of ultra low cost solar PV (ULCS) technologies.
For cells and modules under stream 1, and balance of system (BOS), operations and maintenance under stream 2, the agency will allocate AUD 20 million ($14 million) each.
It will open an expressions of interest (EOI) round on February 7, 2022 with April 11, 2022 as last date of submission.
ARENA said ultra low cost solar will be a ‘key input’ to achieve Australia’s goal of producing green hydrogen for less than $2 as part of its Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan and Low Emissions Technology Statement 2021 (LETS) target ‘H2 under $2’. LETS aims for a stretch goal of $15 per MWh for LCOE for utility scale solar PV.
The agency, in its new Investment Plan, aims to achieve Solar 30 30 30 which refers to 30% solar cell efficiency, and reducing total cost of construction of utility scale solar farms to 30% per W by 2030. The new funding round will support efforts that align with this target.
“Ultra low cost solar will be a vital component in helping Australia move towards a lower cost, largely renewable electricity system and achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.
The funding round will be open to research groups, commercial organizations among others whose projects have achieved a Technology Readiness Level of ‘at least 3’ at the time of applying.
Details about the impending funding round are available on ARENA’s website.
ARENA counts as having committed close to AUD 105 million in grant funding through its R&D programs, to over 70 projects since 2012. A year back in January 2021, along with the Australian National University (ANU), ARENA pooled in AUD 4.5 million to enable the development of a new nano-engineering laboratory to research on next generation solar cell technology (see AUD 4.5 Million Funding For ANU Solar Research).