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New technology boosts Adelaide’s claim to ‘Solar Cities’



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The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

Media Release - 26 August 2004

New technology boosts Adelaide’s claim to ‘Solar Cities’

Revolutionary new solar energy technology being developed in South Australia places Adelaide in a strong position to be chosen as a site for the development of a national ‘Solar City’ prototype.

Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said he was now convinced Adelaide was a front-runner for funding through the Australian Government’s newly-announced $75 million ‘Solar Cities’ program.

“After seeing Origin Energy’s cutting-edge photovoltaic (solar panel) manufacturing plant and meeting with the Liberal Member for Adelaide, Trish Worth, I can see Adelaide has all the elements to develop a world-class solar energy city prototype,” he said.

“The combination of Adelaide’s naturally sunny disposition - about 270 sunny days a year - and the new solar technology being developed here make the city an ideal candidate for the Solar Cities project.”

“Leading the pack is Origin Energy with their development of the Sliver® cell technology, this sort of investment in renewable energy R&D will only reinforce Australia’s reputation as a world leader in solar capability,” said Mr Macfarlane.

The new and revolutionary Sliver® cells are thinner and radically different in size and shape to conventional solar cells, and they are highly efficient.

The technology was developed by the Australian National University’s Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, with $1 million in Australian Government funding through the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Programme (RECP).

“The Sliver® cell is a clear example of Australia’s world-leading capability in solar photovoltaics. This breakthrough technology dramatically reduces the amount of expensive silicon used in traditional solar panels whilst maintaining efficiency, and offers a much wider range of applications due to its unique shape and flexibility.”

“This sort of R&D, and commercialisation, provides a competitive foundation for any Adelaide application to partake in the Solar Cities program, which is all about developing the community of the future - cleaner and greener.”

“I’d urge any local authorities serious about securing the solar development for their area to work with their local industries and Trish Worth to make sure their application is ready to go by the end of the year,” said Mr Macfalane. Media contact: Kirsty Boazman, 02 62777 580 or 0412 171 444