Fostering closer energy ties with the US

13 June 2014

The Australian National University and the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will work more closely on clean energy technology following Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s White House meeting with US President Barack Obama.

The NREL collaboration also includes the University of New South Wales. NREL is the United States Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.

The research collaboration between NREL, ANU and UNSW is part of the Australian Centre for Advanced PV, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

In a White House statement after their meeting, President Obama said the NREL would enhance its collaboration by sharing knowledge on photovoltaics (PV), to help meet increased demand for clean energy.

"We welcome the continued recognition by President Obama and Prime Minister Abbott of the importance of clean energy,” said Professor Andrew Blakers, lead solar researcher at the ANU.

Two ANU researchers from the ANU Energy Change Institute (ECI) are currently visiting NREL to explore collaboration on solar photovoltaic technology, including tandem solar cells and thin film sliver solar cells.

“This announcement recognises the world-leading role that the ECI plays in advancing research in solar technology,” ECI Director Professor Ken Baldwin said.

He said regular exchanges have taken place between the two institutions as part of a deepening engagement.

The White House noted that innovation and science are fundamental to Australia and the United States.

“US-Australia innovation cooperation will strengthen our work on cutting edge issues, ranging from neuroscience to clean energy to information technology and bio-preparedness,” the White House statement said.