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From Perovskites To The TeraWatt Era And A Carbon-free Energy System

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The three plenary events of the 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will provide current insights on PV technologies and applications and the role of PV in the future energy system. To attract scientists and industry representatives from the whole PV sector, the organizers have grouped overview presentations and striking news of the top experts in three morning sessions, rather than reflecting each conference topic in its own plenary session.

The plenaries of the high-quality, live and interactive online-event for the global PV community are titled “Innovations in PV technologies”, “Innovations for PV industry and deployment” and “PV in the energy system”. “With this structure, we are moving from the traditional compartments of device materials, components and systems and deployment to favour today's drivers for PV: Research & Innovation, Enterprises and Industry, and the change to a carbon-free energy system“, Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink, Member of the Executive Committee, explains.

Chasing the best solar cell

Highlights of the first plenary session on Monday include the presentations on perovskite photovoltaics. After a state of the art overview presentation about manufacturing, materials selection, lifetime and performance, the talk “The Race for the Best Silicon Bottom Cell: Efficiency and Cost Evaluation of Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cells” will illustrate the current attempts to use Perovskite materials as a top layer on crystalline silicon solar cells. The speaker Christoph Messmer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems will assess different ways to combine these materials and to optimise them for low cost at high efficiency.

Messmer is the finalist for the student award competition. “We wanted to give a signal for our younger scientists and to recognise them for driving PV research forward. Messmer is the first student invited to speak in one of our renowned plenary sessions”, Dr. Robert Kenny, EU PVSEC Technical Programme Chair, explains.


Ready for the market

The plenary session “Innovations for PV industry and deployment” on Wednesday will, on the other hand, cover everything that is ready to get out of the lab door and is just about to attract investors, corporate financing and even start-ups. The presentation “Requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement for the Coming 10 Years on Investments, Technical Roadmap, and Expansion of PV Manufacturing” will, for example, describe the challenges and the solutions in global deployment scenarios allowing the fulfilment of the Paris agreement. According to the authors from the leading module manufacturer Trina Solar Energy, PV industrial capacities would have to grow at least 20% per year until 2030 to reach a production of 1 Terawatt of PV per year.


Reaching the TeraWatt Era

Large-scale deployment will be covered in the Friday session “PV in the energy system”. In the talk “Sustainability of PV for the TeraWatt Era”, the author Garvin Heath from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will explain how the tremendous resources and material flows can be sustainably managed. According to the author, a fully circular module production, deployment and recycling will be necessary to produce 100 modules per second and reach the aim of 1 Terawatt of PV per year.

Further presentations in this session cover “Designing PV for the First Generation of Solar Electric Vehicles”, “Storage for Residential Energy Systems” and “Innovative Self-Consumption and Aggregation Concepts for PV Prosumers”, while Roger Nordmann from Swissolar is convinced that “Only PV Can Deliver Enough Power to Decarbonize”. “For sure we will be vaccinated against any doubts on PV's future and will take home new enthusiasm from this talk“, Dr. Ossenbrink adds.

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