A Great Success: The First Online Edition Of EU PVSEC Reports A Huge Positive Outcome

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  • An abundance of topics
  • Sessions available for streaming
  • Lisbon 2021

The topics and discussions of the 37th edition of the European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition have shown once again that a sustainable energy supply is becoming ever more important.

New challenges lie ahead of us, but with initiatives like the Green Deal, there is hope for Europe.

Here are a few impressions of one week full of discussions and presentations about PV and its future potential.

Perovskites for the industry

The EU PVSEC 2020 comprised a vast scope of different PV topics. We have learned about advances ranging from solar cells in a range of technologies to applications and economics.

Wafer-based silicon cells, the workhorse of the PV industry, continue to improve in manufacturing and efficiency, e.g. PERX, TOPCon, SHJ, Bifacial. From a European perspective it was a boost to hear of the 25% efficiency European record SHJ cell. A very comprehensive overview of OPV indicated the clear progress being made, and records in OPV efficiency were announced. Perovskites continue to progress, also as an element of tandem devices. There is also more attention to encapsulate perovskite cells and modules, allowing the field to move towards testing efficient devices under outdoor conditions.

It comes as no surprise that Prof. Henry Snaith of Oxford University was awarded the Becquerel Prize for his outstanding research with perovskites. He is aiming to start to production of his perovskite-silicon tandem cells by 2021.

AI for large systems

As systems get larger, autonomous monitoring of PV Systems, for example using UAVs, is essential. The introduction of digital tools such as AI and Machine Learning is helping to improve forecasting and system monitoring. These help achieve higher energy production yields and reduced costs for operation and maintenance.

The benefits of a range of applications, including BIPV, Agro-PV and VIPV and Power to X have been successfully demonstrated. The importance of storage to integrate increasing penetration of renewables in the energy system has been underscored.

Finally, we heard that only PV can deliver enough power to decarbonize, a message that will encourage all workers in the field to keep striving to maintain the momentum.

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