The Clean Energy Programme Office (CEPO) announced the award of research grants totalling about S$13 million to 5 research teams under the third grant call of the Clean Energy Research Programme (CERP).This third grant call was focused on two topics: improving solar cell efficiency and storage systems developed for renewable energy.
The first topic relates to the industry’s direction in developing more costeffective solar energy systems. To date, substantial technological efforts have been focused on increasing solar cell, module and production efficiency, with the end-goal of cost reduction. Notable advancements over recent years include the use of thinner wafers, advanced manufacturing equipment enabling higher production rates, and thin-film modules with improved efficiency.
The second topic seeks to find solutions that will address the intermittency of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, which represents one of the key challenges standing in the way of mass adoption. Sporadic energy production can make it difficult for utilities to balance supply and demand and could result in grid instability issues when the renewable energy contribution becomes substantial.
Consequently, there is an increasing need for innovations which can provide costeffective ways of storing large amounts of renewable energy, so as to ensure greater control and predictability over these sources. In the Singapore context which is representative of many cities, the urbanised environment would also need to be considered in developing such energy storage systems.
The 5 research proposals awarded funding in this latest call of CERP are:
a) Novel High Energy Density Vanadium Redox Flow Cell for Renewable Energy Storage (NTU)
b) High-reliability, Long-life and Low-cost Lithium Ion Batteries for Green Energy Storage Applications (NTU)
c) Advanced Superstrates for Micromorph Silicon Solar Cells (NUS)
d) Advanced Poly-silicon Thin-film Solar Cells and Modules – Application of Solid Phase Crystallisation (NUS)
e) Development of Industrial High-efficiency Multi Crystalline Silicon Wafer Solar Cells – Application of Novel Laser and Ink-jet Technologies (NUS)
Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), Dr Beh Swan Gin said, “These research topics address the issues of cost-effective solar cells and renewable energy storage, both of which are critical to the development of clean energy markets globally. We believe that the five successful projects hold significant promise and could lead to commercially viable technologies that will enjoy mass adoption globally. This will help position Singapore as a leading player in clean energy research, innovation and commercialisation.”