About CSIRO Solar Technologies

The Solar Technologies Group represents CSIRO’s core capability in solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies for power generation and energy storage. Through our National Solar Energy Centre (NSEC) solar thermal activities cover the entire technology chain including solar collection field design and optimisation, solar receiver technologies and integrated chemical process engineering for utilisation and storage of solar thermal energy. Centred around the Photovoltaic Research Laboratory (PVRL) our photovoltaic  facilities and research activities encompass an integrated R&D program including new materials discovery, device fabrication and optimisation, materials characterisation and cell performance determination, energy yield and device durability with the only accredited cell measurement laboratory in Australia, the CSIRO PV Performance Lab (PVPL).

An important component of our CST activities is CSIRO’s leadership of the ASTRI collaborative program. This program is a key mechanism for the development and delivery of engineering and technology solutions being developed by CSIRO and its partners.

The Solar PV activities are closely linked through cross-business unit activities and include capabilities in advanced PV materials and process development, cell design/fabrication and unique facilities for performance assessment.

Embracing the Energy Revolution

We will remain focused on our primary impact areas – development and deployment of solar technologies for electricity generation and downstream industrial processes. This will support and contribute to the delivery of the overall Low Emissions Technologies strategy to enable a future export industry around hydrogen carriers and lead the energy transition to a low environmental impact/sustainable economy.
Emphasis on the mid- to long-term: Through our research we will create commercial opportunities that will ensure sustainable growth of our capability with a pipeline of opportunities and outcomes. The profile of these opportunities are mid- to long-term high-risk and high-reward technological research and IP generation, with the requirement for us to develop a commercialisation pathway in Australia and globally for key technologies at prototype and demonstration scale. Underpinning this technology development will be our world-class facilities in the National Solar Energy Centre (NSEC) and Photovoltaic Performance Laboratory (PVPL).

Our Strategic Vision

We will continue to deliver major projects and outcomes for Australia in solar, demonstrate leadership and deep understanding in the development of new materials, components and concepts enabling high-temperature, high efficiency concentrated solar thermal (CST) technologies and emerging photovoltaic technologies. New solar technologies need to be cost competitive against alternative energy technology options, driving our need to be at the forefront of leadership in an Australian context through our people, capabilities and facilities.

“Provide technology pathways for uptake of large scale solar through support and growth of PV industry and power generators, identification of new markets and applications for emerging PV technologies and exploit the cost-competitiveness of CST with thermal storage in energy intensive industrial processes”

Renewable Energy Hub – Newcastle, NSW Australia

Located in Newcastle, the CSIRO Energy Centre and National Solar Energy Centre is the headquarters for CSIRO Energy and is a focal point in Australia for energy research. Our Energy Centre sets a new benchmark in ecologically sustainable design by showcasing energy generation initiatives, building demand reduction and supply options in conjunction with a significant research and development program across numerous science and engineering domains.

Connected to major Australian capital cities by Newcastle Airport and only two hours drive north of Sydney, you will find Newcastle, a modern city boasting a rich heritage and stunning coastline. A top ten city in Lonely Planet’s guide, Newcastle is ideally situated between amazing beaches, world-class wineries in the Hunter Valley, a world-heritage listed rainforest at Barrington Tops and Australia’s largest salt water lake – Lake Macquarie.

Newcastle is Australia’s sixth largest city, the only regional Australian city located simultaneously on the beach and the harbor waterfront, boasts a picturesque foreshore area that is the perfect place for research – where the sun meets the sand.



Dr Gregory Wilson

Research Group Leader