Global energy meeting expects photovoltaics to contribute to low-cost clean energy

Published on April 04, 2016 by Jessica Limardo

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced on Wednesday that a recent global meeting held to discuss the future of photovoltaics (PV) resulted in positive aspirations for the technology and a desire to increase research and development.

The meeting was held by the Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes. Fifty solar energy experts from around the world were in attendance to discuss the extent to which PV could contribute to climate change mitigation.

“PV is on a pathway to low cost,” Greg Wilson, director of NREL’s Materials Applications and Performance Center and co-director of the National Center for Photovoltaics, said. “When you add PV to inexpensive storage or another means of introducing flexibility into the grid, PV can be attractive as a primary energy source.”

The researchers saw significant potential in PV, with research and development potentially increasing the energy impact of the technology from 60GW in 2015 to the terawatt scale. The energy provides an affordable domestic electricity source and contributes to the clean energy initiative.

Participants in the meeting discussed integrated research programs at universities, industrial facilities and research institutes to address challenges to implementation, including difficulties in scaling up the technology. The meeting’s attendees intend to publish a journal article in future to further explore the challenges to implementing PV.