Australia, Policy, Renewables, Solar, Solar

$100m to slash large-scale solar costs

solar paint

The Federal Government is investing up to $100 million in a global industry challenge aimed at slashing large-scale solar costs and positioning Australia as a renewable energy superpower.

The Solar ScaleUp Challenge, run through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), seeks to spur innovation in how large-scale solar farms are developed, constructed, and operated across the country.

ARENA has opened an eight-week call for innovators, customers, financiers, and anyone involved with solar construction, operation, or maintenance to submit ideas and proposed projects through an online platform. Shortlisted participants could gain access to the $100 million funding pool to further explore their concepts.

The ambitious international challenge is part of ARENA’s vision to drive down the installed cost of solar projects to just 30 cents per watt and the cost of solar electricity to below $20 per megawatt hour by 2030.

According to the Federal Government, ARENA’s Solar ScaleUp Challenge will help to bring together teams who can break new ground in our quest for more affordable solar energy on a massive scale.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said ultra-low-cost solar is essential in delivering cheaper, cleaner energy for Australia.

“The modern solar panel is in effect an Australian invention, developed at the University of New South Wales. This is Australian technology, and we want to see more of the breakthroughs in technology happen here,” Bowen said.

“The world added 445 gigawatts of solar last year, more than all other power sources combined, because the world is rapidly moving to renewable energy, the cheapest form of energy.”

ARENA is partnering with Greenhouse, an organisation that has run similar global innovation challenges like the NearZero Steel Challenge, to administer the Solar ScaleUp Challenge.

“I encourage all organisations that support solar deployment to consider putting in a submission and being part of this $100 million challenge,” Bowen said.

For more renewable and solar news, subscribe to ecogeneration

Send this to a friend