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Solar Steps Up

EuroPhotonics
Dec 2016
Advances in the quality and longevity of photovoltaics, and improvements in inverter technology and the ability to store energy generated by photovoltaics bode well for solar adoption throughout the EU.

MARIE FREEBODY, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, marie.freebody@photonics.com

Despite a challenging environment, there is hope for the solar market with progress being made across many areas of technology. While the advances may not be revolutionary, the small steps toward improving the key features of cost, efficiency and lifetime should not be overlooked.V According to market analysts at Yole Développement in Lyon, France, when it comes to commercial production, among the top advances in solar cell technology are diamond-wire sawing of crystalline silicon wafers, CdTe panel efficiency improvements by First Solar Inc. in Tempe, Ariz., and multi-wire interconnection of busbar-free crystalline silicon solar cells such as SmartWire Connection technology by Meyer Burger Technology Ltd. Even though several revolutionary technologies have been announced in the past years, Milan Rosina, senior analyst of Energy Conversion and Emerging Materials at Yole Développement, sounds a note of caution — cost, efficiency and lifetime are all three mandatory parameters for commercial success and some of the recent “innovative technologies” are good in only one or two of those three parameters. “Investors and insurance companies often prefer ‘bankable’ solar technologies, such as well-proven crystalline silicon,” Rosina said. “New technologies have to face well-proven technologies, manufactured by big players with established distribution and selling channels, and technologies manufactured at low cost and in high volumes.”

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Europelight sourcessolarU.K.Renewables Obligation CertificateRenewable ObligationFITgridEuropean UnionIHS TechnologyBrexitPVphotovoltaicsLightsourceYole DéveloppementSmartWire ConnectionMeyer Burger Technology Ltd.siliconsolar cellsSolarEdge Technologies Inc.AC-DC conversionModule Level Power ElectronicsMLPEPotential Induced DegradationFeatures

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