Australia Launches Solar Research and Development Institute

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Solar energy meets the Outback with Australia’s newly minted AUD$100 million solar research institute. According to the government, objectives of the institute include increasing competitiveness of solar technologies, establishing Australia as a key player in the solar industry, making photovoltaics and solar thermal technology cost-competitive, and attracting international solar experts to the country.

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Money for the Australian Solar Institute comes from the country’s $500 million Renewable Energy Fund. The Australian government has also provided a $15 million investment for three foundation projects.

$5 million will go towards towards developing a crystalline silicon pilot production line at the University of South Wales. An additional $5 million will establish a solar thermal tower at the Newcastle CSIRO, and another $5 million will assist in the creation of a solar research facility at the Australian National University in Canberra.

More information on the ASI’s structure is available in a scoping paper written by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

Photo Credit: NREL

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