ARENA gives perovskite solar tech a push, with $6m Greatcell grant | RenewEconomy

ARENA gives perovskite solar tech a push, with $6m Greatcell grant

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Commercial development of cheap, printable, Australian made perovskite solar cells boosted with $6m ARENA grant to Greatcell Solar.

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Greatcell - solar - PV magazine.
Image source: PV Magazine

Commercial development of cheap, printable and Australian made perovskite solar cells received a boost this week, after local outfit Greatcell Solar was awarded a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

In an ASX announcement on Tuesday, Greatcell said it had been awarded the $6 million ARENA grant as part of a $17.3 million project to develop a world-class plant to scale up the fabrication of high quality, large-area perovskite devices.

Queanbeyan-based Greatcell says it plans to commercialise its perovskite solar cells as a potential alternative to conventional silicon cell technology, and in a form that can applied to building materials like glass and metal sheeting.

The latest ARENA grant follows the July signing of a non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JinkoSolar, giving the China-based solar PV manufacturer access to Greatcell’s  perovskite technology, with the aim of forming a partnership to establish large scale manufacturing and commercialise the technology.

As we have reported here before, perovskite solar cells have been much hyped for their potential to be manufactured very cheaply using established industrial processes, as well as for their potential ease of application.

In Australia, Greatcell – formerly Dyesol – has been a leader in the advancement of the technology, and in notching up conversion efficiency increases, alongside the National Renewable Energy Agency in the US.

But the technology has also been plagued with stability and durability issues, with the material sensitive to moisture contact and high efficiency perovskite cells exhibiting high degradation rates.

A previous ARENA grant of $450,000 in support of Greatcell’s work went towards demonstrating that perovskite solar cells could be both efficient and stable.

In a statement on Tuesday, ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said Greatcell’s perovskite technology was a step towards the potential for ubiquitous, low cost solar.

“This has the potential to expand the applications for which solar can be used and to reduce costs,” Frischknecht said.

“We want to move perovskites closer towards commercialisation. This will help accelerate solar PV innovation in Australia, which is one of our key priorities.”

Greatcell Solar managing director Richard Caldwell said ARENA’s financial support would help demonstrate that perovskite technology was a strong candidate for commercialisation.

“It has the compelling attributes of lower cost and greater versatility than existing PV technologies. In particular, it is suited to real world solar conditions,” Caldwell said.

“In the long term, this technology has the potential to provide a cost competitive and clean energy solution,” he said.

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  1. MaxG 2 years ago

    I am all for supporting local businesses; but they should have to pay back the money they get once they are profitable; just like Tesla did; compared to other US car manufacturers who never paid back their grants.

    • Ed 2 years ago

      Probably more constructive to stop paying the fossil fuel companies subsidies.

    • rob 2 years ago

      You really are a troll…….never a constructive comment! Go back to your mate repees trash where you belong!

      • Gary Stinten 2 years ago

        He has a point.

        Tesla did pay back the govt and with interest..

        If corporate want a handout.. Be generous enough, if you want to stay on the market, to pay back what you borrow, I mean after all.. Theft is theft is theft, and besides, who pays back the govt if the company doesn’t.. The taxpayer..

        So far, I ascertained two things..

        One, you like paying more tax because of corporations,

        Two, you think thieving is alright, provided that a corporation does it.. Cause “they know what they’re doing”..

        Clap ………… Clap…….. Clap.

    • Kevfromspace 2 years ago

      The CEFC provides loans, and ARENA provides grants. ARENA has a great track record of delivering fantastic projects with great results. I wouldn’t downplay their strategy!

      • George Darroch 2 years ago

        It’s good to have both. That seed funding can create highly profitable new industries. I wish it was more evident in other areas.

  2. Ed 2 years ago

    Greatcell Solar has made great progress regarding stability both internally and through its pioneer licence with EPFL

    “Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency”

    They also just received another $4m from a fund.

  3. neroden 2 years ago

    NO LEAD — so far all perovskites use toxic brain-damaging lead — must stop this. If the tin-based ones work out, great, but NO LEAD.

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