US-Australia Solar Research Collaboration Announced


Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton announced on Sunday the US-Australia Solar Research Collaboration; an initiative that aims to develop cheaper solar power solutions.
The Australian Government will be committing up to $50 million from the Renewable Energy Future Fund to support this initiative, which will build on expertise and collaboration between Australian and US researchers.
The funding will help support research on advanced solar energy technology including  dual junction photovoltaic devices, hot-carrier solar cells and high temperature receivers.
According to Prime Minister Gillard, “The price of solar technology has come down in recent years but we need to accelerate that trend. The joint project, with the United States, is part of an aggressive effort to bring the sales price of solar technology down by two to four times.”
The prospect of grid parity was also mentioned. “We have a common goal of making solar energy competitive with conventional sources by the middle of this decade, 2015,” said US Secretary Of  State Hilary Clinton.
The Australian Solar Institute (ASI)  will manage the Commonwealth’s contribution. 
The Secretary Of State also announced a $500,000 grant to the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute; a body co-funded by the Australian Government charged with the task of accelerating the worldwide development, deployment and implementation of the controversial concept of artificial carbon sequestration.
Australia has set a renewable energy target of at least 20 per cent of the nation’s electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020 and the target is expected to generate an estimated $19 billion in related investment.