Eicke R. Weber: Photovoltaics Moving into the Terawatt Age

A plenary talk from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2017.

24 August 2017

In the last few years, PV electricity has become cost-competitive with electricity produced by conventional sources, notes Eicke Weber, Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore and University of California, Berkeley, in this plenary talk.

Global PV production capacity will double within the next five years to 100-120 GWp/a, bringing PV installations into the terawatt range. A key factor for this growth will be continuous technology advances aimed at higher efficiencies at reduced cost.

In addition, cell efficiency will be even more important than lowest cost, to optimize energy harvest from a given area. Crystalline silicon technology currently represents 90% of the global PV market. This technology is approaching a ceiling of 29% efficiency for a single-bandgap semiconductor.

Weber discusses new approaches for higher efficiencies requiring heterojunctions, including heterojunctions on silicon, allowing to combine well-established large-scale silicon PV technology with new technologies, such as low-cost III/V or Perovskite layers.

Weber is Director/CEO of the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore (BEARS). He has also served as Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany. From 1983-2006 he served on the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his doctorate in Physics from the University of Cologne, Germany.

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