$14 million awarded to five teams for renewable energy research

SINGAPORE - Five research teams have been awarded a total of $14 million to come up with more efficient ways to make the materials used to convert sunlight into electricity.

The awards were given out by the Energy Innovation Programme Office (EIPO), an inter-agency office responsible for strategies and policies for growing the energy sector. The EIPO is led by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Energy Market Authority of Singapore.

The current set of grants are the third issued under the Energy Innovation Research Programme (EIRP) and given to scientists who are improving the manufacturing processes for solar wafers, cells and modules. The grants also go towards innovations in materials used in the manufacturing process such as metallisation pastes, coatings, adhesives and packaging materials to bring down the costs of solar modules.

In June 2013, the first set of grants were awarded to five research teams focusing on increasing efficiency and innovation in photovoltaic technology, which enables the conversion of sunlight into electricity.

EDB managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan said: "The projects have garnered strong interest from the private sector for research collaborations and will help position Singapore as a leading hub for clean energy research, innovation and commercialisation."

"They will also support Singapore's efforts to accelerate solar adoption in Singapore through the recently announced SolarNova programme in which government agencies will generate lead demand in solar system deployment," added Mr Yeoh, who is also the co-executive director of EIPO.

Two of the five research teams are from the National University of Singapore. The remaining three are from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Technology and Design and renewable energy company, REC Solar Pte Ltd.