Trials began in September by the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) in Australia to develop flexible, large area, cost-effective printable plastic solar cells. The trial aims to speed manufacturing of organic solar cells “printed” onto polymer in much the same way as money is printed on paper. The potential to mass-produce solar cells cheaply and install them over large areas may make solar energy on every rooftop a reality. “The trial could also lay the groundwork for a world-leading Australian industry in printable electronics,” says Senator Kim Carr, Australian minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.
VICOSC partners include Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency; the Universities of Melbourne and Monash; and businesses Securency, BP Solar, Bluescope Steel and Merck. “The technology used for these cells is still in its infancy, but this project aims to speed up the development of this technology and take it from research to rooftops as quickly as possible,” says Peter Batchelor, Victorian minister for Energy and Resources. Read more at www.csiro.au.