Europe’s PV researchers stake future on the power of joined-up thinking


By Ben Willis, Head of Content, Solar Media

Sophia, a four-year European Commission-funded project to promote coordination across the EU's PV research community came to an end in January. With 20 partners drawn from industry and academia, the project appears to have fulfilled its aims of fostering greater collaboration. But with Europe's PV manufacturing industry facing a dire predicament in the face of competition from Asia, is it too little, too late?

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Now that the PV industry has unquestionably entered a new growth phase, all eyes are on which technologies will win through into the mainstream of PV manufacturing. PERC, n-type, p-type bifacial, heterojunction – all have become familiar terms in the ever-growing constellation of solar cell technologies. The question is which will offer manufacturers what they are looking for in improving efficiencies and cutting costs.

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