Singapore awards S$12 million in solar research grants


This first grant call had two focuses: cost reduction through innovations in crystalline silicon photovoltaics materials, cells, modules and systems and innovations in recycling of silicon wafers, cells and modules. The five research proposals that were awarded the funding are:

  • "Maximizing PV array system efficiency under rapid shading conditions" undertaken by ERI@N, Nanyang Technological University
  • "Novel dielectric coatings for silicon wafer solar cells" undertaken by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS), National University of Singapore
  • "The TruePower Alliance- Advanced combination of extended indoor and outdoor PV modules and system testing across various climate zones" undertaken by SERIS
  • "Ion-implantation for cost-reduced fabrication of industrial type silicon wafer solar cells" undertaken by SERIS
  • Singapore PV module recycling programme undertaken by SiPro Pte Ltd, Singapore.

The Economic Development Board of Singapore, or EDB, additionally highlighted the TruePower project led by Thomas Reindl from SERIS which will translate into bankability of solar farms globally. The project is said to aim to understand and optimize solar systems as well as their performance under different climatic conditions. This would be interesting for solar companies as the project will show how modules perform under real-life conditions. SERIS will collaborate with the Australian National University and Tokyo’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology on this project.

The EDB opened the first EIRP grant call on solar energy systems in 2012. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) also opened a second EIRP grant call that focused on smart grid technologies in 2012. The awardees are to be announced soon. The third and fourth EIRP grants calls focusing on solar energy and clean energy systems went out on May 21 of this year.

EIPO announced the setting aside of S$195 million in R&D budget in 2011 under the National Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 (RIE2015) cycle that ends March 31, 2016. The EIRP program has already secured S$140 million.