Bluescope rooftop solar project a world leader

A $2.3 million Emerging Renewables Program grant will make Australia a world leader in putting low-cost solar power into residential and commercial rooftop design.

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today announced the Australian Government contribution to BlueScope Steel’s $5 million development of a prototype building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system.

The company will develop a new roofing profile that joins Australian steel roofing and inverter systems with international second-generation thin-film solar technologies.

It provides for the simultaneous installation of roofing and solar technology and allows new buildings to adopt the design. The technology will be capable of generating energy for the electricity grid.

"Today’s $2.3 million grant, issued under the $126 million Emerging Renewables Program, will allow the mass deployment of this technology across residential, commercial and industrial rooftops in Australia," Minister Ferguson said.

"The prototype will be easily scaled up to the operational stage ensuring future BIPV systems can be cost-effective without Government subsidies.

"This project will help make Australia a world leader in BIPV development, particularly for thermal roofing featuring flexible thin-film technology."

Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird and Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, said the development of the new roofing profile would create new employment opportunities at BlueScope and is an early sign of the positive innovations that will occur under the Government's Clean Energy Future.

"The jobs created by the rollout of this new technology is great news for the Illawarra region," said Mr Jones,

"Importantly, following the introduction of the carbon price and Clean Energy Future measures, this initiative will contribute to the Australian Government’s goal of reducing national carbon emissions and assist with increasing our uptake of renewable energy," said Ms Bird.

Australia’s installed rooftop photovoltaic capacity increased from 23 to 1450 megawatts between 2008 and 2012 and is expected to grow to more than 5100MW by 2020 and 12,000MW by 2031.

These trends are supported by the Emerging Renewables Program and $1.5 billion Solar Flagships Program, which are administered by the new $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

More information on the Emerging Renewables Program and ARENA can be located at: www.arena.gov.au