Australian Innovation

Solar Energy to Become More Affordable

“Solar Paint” could soon make affordable solar energy for households, thanks to a $5 million Brumby Labor Government grant to Victorian researchers announced today by Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings.

Attending the OzBio2010 Conference’s Public Forum Biosciences and Global Warming – options for low CO2 Energy Production, Mr Jennings said making household solar energy affordable was a way of helping communities reduce their carbon emissions.

The funding to the Solar Cells for Life project group will further develop a printable light-sensitive ink that can convert sunlight into energy, potentially opening the door to inexpensive, mass produced solar panels.

“By supporting innovative ideas such as printable light-sensitive ink the Brumby Labor Government is taking action to achieve sustainable outcomes that are good for the environment and potentially help local communities do their bit to combat climate change,” Mr Jennings said.

“This is a sustainable alternative to current methods of energy production and will contribute to crucial efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“The developers believe that this technology, once commercialised, is likely to lead to substantial reductions in the cost of producing solar cells, thus making solar power even more attractive for the consumer.”

The Solar Cells for Life project group is made up of industry partners that include The University of Melbourne, Monash University, CSIRO, Bluescope Steel, Robert Bosch, Securency International and Innnovia Films.

“The researchers and industry partners aim to develop a prototype for large scale demonstration trials within the next five years, which is great news for the environment as well as Victoria’s economy where its development will create jobs,” Mr Jennings said.

“It also has the potential to help Victoria achieve our target of increasing the use of solar power to five per cent by 2020 as well as reducing our overall emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 2000 levels.”

Mr Jennings said the Brumby Labor Government’s $5 million grant – which is supported by Victoria’s Science Agenda (VSA) $25 million Strategic Project Fund (SPF) that builds capabilities for future innovation in Victoria – also leverages an investment of $5 million from the partners to make a total of $10 million for the project.

For more information about the ‘Solar Cells for Life’ project, Victoria’s Science Agenda or the Strategic Project Fund visit

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