The Australian Renewable Energy Agency says it will provide $449,000 to Australian listed company Dyesol to progress development of the perovskite solar cells, touted as a highly efficient and potentially cheaper solar cell to the one currently in the market.
Dyesol recently claimed a significant breakthrough in the development of perovskite solar cells, which are touted as the next big thing in solar because of their high efficiency rates, but they have yet to overcome significant stability and durability issues.
ARENA says perovskite solar technology is low cost, versatile, and can perform in low light conditions. However, it is an emerging technology that has not yet evolved into scaled applications or manufacturing techniques that will ensure product quality, performance and certification standards for operation can be met.
Acting ARENA CEO Ian Kay said the funding would enable NSW company Dyesol to create a roadmap setting out the steps needed to take its perovskite solar cell technology from the lab to a commercially available product.
“Perovskite cells have been demonstrated at laboratory scale but have never before been mass produced. Dyesol will map out the techniques and requirements for working towards scalable manufacturing of high-quality, uniform perovskite cells that achieve efficiency, durability and stability targets,” Kay said.
“Ultimately, we hope to see perovskite solar cells deliver a significant breakthrough in cost reduction in the manufacture of solar PV technology, in line with ARENA’s goal of reducing the cost of renewable energy and advancing innovative technologies.
He said Dyesol is initially aiming for a delivery cost benchmark of US 10 cents per kWh, putting perovskite solar PV cells on par with current benchmarks achieved by silicon solar PV.
“This would be a considerable achievement given silicon PV’s maturity as a technology, and provides further scope for reduction in the cost of energy as manufacturing volumes grow.”
Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt, whose portfolio now includes ARENA, said it was further proof that Australia is at the forefront of innovation in renewable technologies.
“Supporting early stage projects like this one is vital if we are to maintain and build on our world-leading competitive advantage in solar research and development and further bring down the cost of solar,” he said in a statement.
“What I’d like to see is more solar available for Australian families and businesses and, at the same time, be growing an innovative commercial solar industry on Australian shores.”
The Dyesol research facility is located in Queenbeyan, in the electorate of federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Dr Peter Hendy, who said that perovskite is abundant and cheaper than silicon. “This is a third generation solar technology,” he said.