Australia to Launch AUD$1 Billion Program to Boost Domestic Solar Manufacturing

The initiative is known as the Solar Sunshot Program


The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has unveiled a significant initiative with AUD$1 billion (~$651.2 million) investment aimed at enhancing domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing.

The initiative, known as the Solar Sunshot program and introduced by the Australian Government, is poised to boost the country’s solar PV manufacturing landscape by stimulating growth and providing a clear pathway for commercialization.

ARENA, recognized for its role in nurturing Australia’s solar industry through research, innovation, and large-scale deployment, is set to lead the implementation of the Solar Sunshot program by collaborating closely with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water (DCCEEW).

The Solar Sunshot program is designed to provide comprehensive support across the solar PV supply chain, including scaling up module manufacturing capabilities and exploring opportunities for grant funding in various supply chain segments.

This encompasses polysilicon, ingots and wafers, cells, module assembly, and ancillary components such as solar glass and deployment technology.

The initiative builds upon insights from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute’s Silicon to Solar Report, which outlines a viable pathway for establishing a robust domestic solar supply chain.

Benefits outlined in the report include securing access to solar PV components, creating jobs, attracting private investment, and unlocking export opportunities.

ARENA and DCCEEW are set to publish a consultation paper outlining program specifications, funding mechanisms, timelines, and eligibility criteria.

ARENA envisions a transformative scale-up of Australia’s solar PV manufacturing capacity, with the consultation process as a critical step towards realizing this vision.

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the consultation process by registering their interest on ARENA’s funding page.

In October last year, ARENA invited expressions of interest from government entities and private companies to apply for funds for large-scale green hydrogen projects under the AU$2 billion (~$ $1.3 billion) Hydrogen Headstart Program.

The Australian Government had also announced an AU$2 billion (~$1.26 billion) expansion in financing critical minerals, including rare earths.