Backing in the world’s best solar and Australian jobs

The Albanese Government will provide an $11 million investment to back in Australian solar technology developers SunDrive to manufacture the world’s most efficient solar modules.

This investment from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will make cleaner and cheaper solar energy even more affordable – while creating jobs right here at home.

SunDrive will scale up its advanced production line to make enough copper metallised PV cells for around 15,000 household solar systems each year.

The $33.6 million project will help SunDrive to step up their production significantly, employing around 100 people by the end of the year at their manufacturing facility at Kurnell in Sydney’s south. SunDrive are aiming to employ more than 500 people as production increases in Australia.

This exciting investment, using copper for PV cell metallisation instead of silver, will result in an installed cost of solar that is 20–30% cheaper than other high-efficiency cells - getting more efficient solar onto Australia’s grid and making the cheapest form of energy, solar, even more affordable.

Cheap solar energy doesn’t just benefit individual households but also the wider National Electricity Market.

The Australian Energy Market Operator's (AEMO) latest report shows the 31% growth in rooftop solar output helped drive a 71% reduction in wholesale prices in a year by reducing demand on the grid and reducing use of more expensive sources of energy during the day.

As global demand for solar PV soars, today’s announcement is another critical investment in Australian manufacturing and local content for the energy transformation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen:

“The Albanese Government knows that local clean-energy manufacturing isn’t only good for local jobs, but for energy security too – investments like today’s in SunDrive, and our National Reconstruction Fund – are about making more things here.

“Australian ingenuity helped create the modern solar panel, and with local technology breakthroughs into Ultra-low cost solar – we can drive even more affordable energy into our energy market, and energy markets around the world."