New JRC report reveals that EU is strong driver in global solar innovation

The EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently published the solar PV technology development report 2020. The study reviews solar PV technology developments today, with a revised assessment on state-of-the-art solar technologies and their development trends, looking towards the 2050 horizon.

According to the report, in the medium term, wafer-based silicon technologies are set to retain the largest market shares, with today’s module production costs reaching impressive 0.2 EUR/W and power conversion efficiencies above the 20% level. In parallel, thin-film technologies have established cell efficiency records beyond 22% and are developing to translate such gains into cost-competitive products. The study explores the state of play of integrated solar solutions such as BIPV, vehicle-integrated PV, Agri-PV and floating PV, which are described as important future market opportunities.

The report also contains an overview of the global solar PV research and innovation landscape. This includes details of how EU-funded programmes are contributing to technological advancements and objectives, exploring key outcomes of the most relevant international programmes. Overall, the EU has a strong foundation in PV technology research, despite global competition in this field. Topics of relative strength for the EU include power conversion equipment and BIPV.

In addition, the report highlights that factors which require more focused research include the circular economy and socio-economic effects associated with terawatt-scale deployment. 

Download the entire report here.

Photo: (c) Wacker

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