Equipment supplier and CIGS thin-film specialist Manz is to receive a €20 million (US$25.7 million) research loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The EIB said the funds would support the company’s R&D activities, particularly in the area of PV.
Manz specialises in CIGS thin-film equipment, and its research partner, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) in Stuttgart, revealed earlier this week that it had achieved a new conversion record in a CIGS cell of 21.7%.
Funding for Manz has been made available under the European Commission’s ‘InovFin’ programme, which provides R&D finance for innovative medium-sized companies.
EIB vice president Wilhelm Molterer said: “To be able to deliver strong research achievements – as here in the field of sustainable and renewable energies – reliable financial support is vital. This is particularly the case when it comes to small and medium-sized companies. The example of Manz demonstrates that a medium-sized company can be well on a par with its international competitors and be a technology leader. Yet, this requires stable financing conditions in the long run.”
Earlier in the week, following the announcement of ZSW’s record, Manz founder and CEO Dieter Manz, said the two bodies would continue to conduct R&D aimed at further reducing the costs of solar.
Manz said: “Because CIGS solar plants will make power generation more efficient and affordable worldwide, I am optimistic that CIGS thin-film technology will gain significant market shares. As the only worldwide provider of a fully integrated production line for CIGS thin-film modules, major opportunities for growth are opening up to us, which we want to take advantage of!”