ETIP PV Conference 2021 - Session 3
ETIP PV Conference
2021-06-02 TOP

Reliable and Sustainable Solar PV Everywhere: Highlights of the 3rd session of the ETIP PV Annual Conference 2021

By Ulrike Jahn, VDE Renewables

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Ulrike Jahn

The European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) successfully finished its 2021 virtual annual conference with over 700 participants. With the theme of “Solar PV Big & Beyond - Delivering the 2030 climate targets to Europe”, the event discussed the challenges of meeting the 2030 climate targets in four sessions accompanied by a series of live panel discussions. On average, close to 200 participants registered for each of the four sessions.

In the third session “Reliable and Sustainable Solar PV Everywhere”, four dedicated talks on the strategic research agenda, on material challenges, on quality assurance for PV plants and on the dual use of PV were delivered by distinguished PV experts on 20 May 2021.

  • The Strategic Importance of Reliability, Sustainability, and Integration in the PV Sector by the European PV SRIA – David Moser, EURAC Research
  • Reliability Challenges for New PV Material & Module Developments – Gernot Oreski, PCCL
  • Lifecycle PV quality assurance for PV power plants – Paolo V. Chiantore, BayWa r.e.
  • Research and Innovation for expanding solar power generation without expanding land use – Bianca Lim, ISFH

These presentations were followed by a moderated panel discussion on “How can PV be installed and integrated in a reliable and sustainable way?”

To get in-depth perspectives on these discussions, contact Ulrike Jahn at ulrike.jahn@vde.com.

Session 3 Highlights

In the first talk, we learned from David Moser and Andreas Wade that circular economy and renewable, clean energy need to go hand in hand to safeguard a truly sustainable transition towards a low-carbon future. Current PV components on the market are not designed for circularity (easy to disassemble, repair, refurbish and recycle). This must be addressed and improved as outlined in the Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA), which deals with research and innovation priorities articulated in 5 challenges with several roadmaps that positions PV in the heart of the clean energy transition. The theme of circularity is stated in challenge 2, objective 1.

Gernot Oreski presented challenges for new PV materials and concluded that a better understanding of PV module and material degradation processes is a precondition for a successful development of new components and reliable PV module designs. This includes combined and sequential stress tests for the qualification of new module designs in order to increase lifetime and reliability (SRIA challenge 2, roadmap 6).

Paolo V. Chiantore shared his experiences about the importance of quality assurance of PV power plants over their lifetime from an industry point of view. This process includes maximizing plant efficiency and constant increase of energy yield, optimizing use of land (by using the most up-to-date components, with higher efficiency than those that will be substituted) and striving toward a circular economy - material recovery from disposed components for further use in the industry (SRIA challenge 2, Roadmap 8).

Focused research and innovations are still required to work on expanding PV power generation without expanding land use. Bianca Lim spoke about the need to develop a shared database and standard of data collection for different PV applications (A-PV; F-PV and Vehicle integrated PV) including the specifications and the definitions of environmental and economic benefits of different use-cases, regions, and PV applications. For PV in buildings, different business models and integration designs have to be considered, as well as tools to be developed to define optimal PV integration solutions considering cost, performance, and self-consumption (SRIA challenge 3).

Download the conference program from the ETIP PV website.

Watch the ETIP PV 2021 welcome address and view the 3rd session's video on Vimeo.

The Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) can be downloaded here and the public consultation is open until 04 June 2021.

If you would like to find out more about the results of Session 3’s discussions, get in touch with Ulrike Jahn.