The Federal Government has announced the CSIRO will lead a new $87 million solar research initiative aimed at significantly improving the viability of solar technology.


The eight-year research collaboration will form the Australian solar thermal research initiative, which will aim to lower the cost of solar thermal power from an average of 25 to around 10 cents a kilowatt hour.


The CSIRO will partner with six Australian universities and the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia Corporation and Arizona State University with the goal of creating solar technology to supply cheap, zero emission secure solar energy.


CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship Director, Dr Alex Wonhas, said the funding provides CSIRO with the opportunity to work with the world’s best and fully develop solar thermal technology.


“A world-class collaboration of this scale ensures we are well on our way to lower the cost of solar thermal technology.


“Demonstrating the technology is vital, it is what attracts investment and development in the industry,” said Dr Wonhas.


CSIRO’s university partners for the solar thermal research initiative include The Australian National University, University of Queensland, The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Flinders University.