Australia’s leading renewable energy organisation has launched a $20 million fund to support the development of solar technologies that can provide cheaper and more efficient power.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has invested more than a $100 million in solar photovoltaic (PV) projects – since 2012 – as it bids to build a clean energy future with solar cells “on every surface”.

“This dedicated research and development funding for solar PV is part of our commitment to finding and supporting further breakthroughs in solar PV,” said ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht. “Australia has some of the best solar PV researchers in the world, and we want to build what we’ve already accomplished. This leverage the impressive gains already made in cost reduction and cell efficiency. And that is just the beginning. We see a future where solar cells might be on every surface.”

Australia is a word leader in green energy. It ranked fifth in the recent renewable energy country attractiveness index (recai) from EY, outperforming a host of nations, including Japan, Canada and France.

This latest funding initiative from ARENA will further help the country in achieving its goal of generating around a quarter of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. A report this month by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator (CER) pointed to $4 billion of investment in the country’s industry in 2016 as clear evidence that the 2020 target was within reach.

Australia is also set to triple solar capacity by the middle of next year, with a dozen new large-scale solar power plants due to go online.

“By continuing to support innovation in solar PV, we believe that solar power could produce more than 30 per cent of Australia’s electricity within 15 years,” Mr Frischknecht added.