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Australia and USA Collaboration on Building a Solar Future::

The Australian Solar Institute (ASI) has joined forces with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to provide a significant boost for solar research and development.

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today announced over $83 million for solar research funding as part of the United States- Australia Solar Energy Collaboration (USASEC).

Minister Ferguson said the continued success of Australian solar innovation is being reinforced through a long-term commitment between the governments of the United States and Australia.

"Today's funding commitment supports the collaborative efforts being made by our governments to drive innovation, build research and technical capacity, and provide pathways to solar commercialisation," Minister Ferguson said.

"The Australian Government's commitment is leveraging $140 million of research and industry investment, resulting in more than $220 million for solar research and involving over 40 organisations across Australia and the US.

"As the Government's Energy White Paper and ARENA's General Funding Strategy emphasised, realising the potential of new technologies will require collaborative approaches with overseas researchers to maximise Australia's strengths and capabilities."

The funding commitment includes $33 million for the US-Australia Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics and $35 million to the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative. The USAustralia Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics will be led by the University of New South Wales, and the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative will be led by CSIRO.

An additional $15.5 million is being allocated to collaborative research projects under the Open Funding Round of the

USASEC. Projects range from developing an Australian Solar Energy Forecasting System that will improve the integration of solar energy generation, to a solar device that simplifies the incorporation of solar energy into hybrid fossil fuel applications. USASEC was established in 2010 to support collaborative solar research between the United States and Australia and is an important part of the Australian Government's $17 billion commitment to the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. The US is providing in-kind support for these projects and programs through access to researchers and facilities that complement Australian expertise.

Further information about the Australian Solar Institute and the projects funded is at www.australiansolarinstitute.com.au and further information about ARENA at www.arena.gov.au

Media Contact:
 
Cathryn Tilmouth – 0401 222 941

14 December 2012