Intersolar NA 2013: US technology roadmap for CIGS thin film launched

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Initiated by SEMATECH and CNSE as part of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative, a roadmap for CIGS thin-film technology development has been created.

Other than PV manufacturer’s own technology roadmaps, the ITRPV was the only international technology roadmap in mainstream existence but was for crystalline silicon technologies.

U.S. CIGS PV Roadmap was said to have been designed to accelerate next-generation advancements in CIGS in the US with aim of taking the technology from a struggling niche to become a mainstream product offering globally.

Currently, Japan-based Solar Frontier is the clear leader in production of CIS-based thin film modules, closest to CIGS production techniques and materials. The overall thin-film leader is US-based CdTe module producer, First Solar.

“Photovoltaics and especially thin-film PV are again at a tipping point,” said Larry Kazmerski, co-chair of the U.S. CIGS PV Roadmap. “We want PV to be a substantial part of the world’s energy portfolio and our efforts with this roadmap are aimed to help make CIGS thin films a significant part of that solar success.”

Dr. Pradeep Haldar, PVMC Chief Operating and Technology Officer and CNSE Vice President for Clean Energy Programs added, “In building on the innovation strategy of Governor Andrew Cuomo that is establishing New York as a hub for solar energy technologies and companies, we engaged over 75 partner firms and 100 industry experts to develop a 10-year projection in the first-ever U.S. CIGS PV roadmap. This blueprint identifies the critical challenges for CIGS PV manufacturing, applications for sustainable innovation, and technical developments that will serve our members and stakeholders, and enable a competitive U.S. solar industry amid the global marketplace.”

PVMC noted that it was targeting a reduction in the total installed cost of solar energy systems by 75% over the next decade.

On July 11, during the Third Annual U.S. CIGS PV Roadmap Public Forum held during Intersolar North America 2013, roadmap working group leaders are expected to present summaries of key aspects of the roadmap and announce plans for a revised 2014 roadmap. 

The “2013 U.S. CIGS PV Roadmap Reports,” addresses six focused areas including roll-to-roll, rigid glass, metrology, modules and packaging, substrates and materials, and reliability/certification/test.

As is typical of technology roadmaps, each section outlines the current status and critical challenges for each technology, discusses the role of industry standards for CIGS, and potential areas of innovation for the pre-competitive domain.

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