CSIRO silicon plan a welcome contribution  

The Minister for Industry and Science has welcomed publication of a report on Australia’s silicon industry, which suggests pathways to help the industry develop from mining and processing through to the manufacture and export of photo voltaic (PV) solar panels.

Commissioned by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and written by PwC Australia, the Australian Silicon Action Plan urges Australia to develop a domestic solar supply chain to help Australia become a global superpower for solar PV electricity generation.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said the Australian Silicon Action Plan is a welcome contribution to discussions about how best to establish new manufacturing capabilities in Australia.

“The report highlights the part silicon plays in new technologies such as solar cells, semiconductor chips, optical fibres, aluminium alloys and its potential for use in batteries,” Minister Husic said.

“As I’ve said previously, if we mine it here, we should make it here.

“There is potential alignment with our priorities for the National Reconstruction Fund, including value-adding in resources and for renewables and low-emissions technologies. 

“The NRF will help to support new industries and advanced manufacturing in Australia.”

The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) will invest across seven priority areas of the economy, including value-add in resources. Investments in this priority area will help to expand Australia’s mining science technology, and ensure a greater share of raw materials extracted are processed domestically. 

The Government has identified $1 billion of the NRF to specifically support this priority area.

Solar PV is expected to grow rapidly both in Australia and globally, and be an important technology in the clean energy transition.

Solar PV’s contribution to the energy mix in Australia is expected to increase to about 50 per cent by 2050. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, estimated annual global solar power generation capacity must increase more than 14-fold by 2050 to stay on track for net-zero targets.

For more information and to read the report, visit https://csiro.au/siliconactionplan