The Australian Solar Institute (ASI) announced a research and development partnership to develop concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies.
The partnership with leading European solar research organisation Deutches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) will produce "exciting results" for improving efficiency and lowering costs of solar energy said ASI Executive Director Mark Twidell.
The ASI says it already has existing strong partnerships with the German solar industry through a memorandum of understanding with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute; a body that focuses on solar panel related technologies, and Australia’s role in the International Energy Agency’s Solar PACES solar thermal program.
The DLR will bring a great deal of experience to the partnership, having worked for more than three decades in the field of concentrating solar power technology and being one of the largest research teams in the world.
The partnership will see a focus on research gaps necessary to overcome barriers to uptake such as cost and efficiency, peer review expertise, joint research and development projects and support for solar skills development and education in Australia and Germany.
The ASI and DLR have already agreed a number of projects to begin immediately, including high temperature CSP modelling and high temperature receiver performance and analysis, which will include the involvement of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
"Australia’s commitment to a climate-friendly energy supply, its excellent research infrastructure and, of course, its high levels of solar radiation are an excellent basis for us to work together on reducing the cost of solar power using technology developed by DLR," said DLR’s Prof. Ulrich Wagner.
The ASI is a $150 million commitment by the Australian Government and part of the expanded $5 billion Clean Energy Initiative. The ASI exists to support solar thermal and solar photovoltaic research and development.