Australia has always punched above it’s weight when it comes to solar R&D. But now Engineers at the University of New South Wales have set a new world record with the development of a solar cell device that extracts the maximum energy from sunlight to achieve a world-record breaking efficiency of 34.5%.
“Extracting more energy from every beam of sunlight is critical to reducing the cost of electricity generated by solar cells as it lowers the investment needed, and delivers payback faster,” says Dr Mark Keevers Senior Research Fellow, who developed the device, together with Professor Martin Green.
“But we must maintain the pace of photovoltaic research in Australia to ensure that we not only build on such tremendous results, but continue to bring benefits back to Australia,” he added.
With Australia’s research in photovoltaics already generating flow-on benefits of more than $8 billion to the country, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), was quick to support this ground breaking research with a $1.4 million grant.
“Australia is recognised as a world leader in solar innovation,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknech. “These early stage foundations are increasingly making it possible for Australia to return solar dividends here at home and in export markets – and there’s no reason to believe the same results can’t be achieved with this record-breaking technology.”
It’s developments like this, that are the key to our future and why funding for our universities is essential to keep Australia clever.
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