Big plans for renewable energy in 2015

Arena funding helps understand energy efficiency 171 6002958 0 14100321 300

Renewable energy has been high on Australia's agenda for many years now, as the country hopes to move away from its reliance on fossil fuels. This means making significant investment on ensuring cleaner sources are able to come to the fore - something that was certainly achieved back in 2014.

ARENA revealed that it invested $1 billion in over 230 projects in a bid to ensure Australia's electricity supplies will be fit for the future.

Among them was a project led by the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research at the University of Adelaide, which assessed the potential of geothermal technology. Experts strived to discover how fluid would behave when passing through rock prior to drilling, which enables better pre-dripping predictions. In light of this research, it's hoped that geothermal reservoirs will become more viable in the future.

Meanwhile, a team at the University of Newcastle devised a prototype capable of converting heat from concentrated sunlight into electricity. Ceramic materials were used in a bid to bring down electricity prices associated with solar energy.

ARENA has stated that it's once again on the lookout for new projects to invest in that will increase the understanding of renewable power. The idea is that knowledge can be shared across the industry, so any forthcoming challenges can be overcome and learnt from.

Last year, ARENA celebrated after being involved in a project with the University of New South Wales that led to a record for solar PV efficiency. Researchers were able to convert more than 40 per cent of sunlight coming into contact with the panels into energy at an outdoor test facility in the USA.

This was made possible by using tripe junction cells alongside conventional silicon cells, which the team found would be responsible for increasing power output.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott