Solar PV R&DProject Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP)
This report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2015. As well as setting up the broad framework for collaboration on an international scale, both AUSIAPV and ACAP have moved very quickly to establish a high profile within the international research community.
Solar photovoltaics involve directly generating electricity from sunlight, when it falls upon devices known as solar cells. Silicon is the most common material used to make these photovoltaic cells, similarly to its key role in microelectronics, although several other photovoltaic materials are being actively investigated.
Photovoltaics are destined to provide one of the lowest cost methods for future electricity production. In April 2015, Bloomberg forecast that photovoltaics would account for 35% of new electricity generation capacity added globally until 2040, at a value of US$3.7 trillion.
Australia has played a major role in this technology’s development and is well positioned to benefit from this greatly expanded role. In his recent speech to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull highlighted that Australian researchers have “held the world record for solar cell efficiency for 30 of the last 32 years” and “by 2018 over 60% of the world’s solar cells are to use technology developed by Australian researchers”.