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Preview of the Monday Plenary Session

Sustainable PV

Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink

Former European Commission
Joint Research Centre

As you can see from the detailed programme, the EU PVSEC 2023 will provide you with plenary presentations on three mornings. They are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are intended to give you introductions and overviews about current “hot” topics in the world of Photovoltaics.

This year, the thematic choices are Sustainable PV, PV Roll-out with Advances in Technology development and the Technical and Social Dimensions Enabling Multi Terawatt PV Deployment.

These three themes will be previewed in the upcoming weeks in order to whet your appetite to follow these plenaries. They are on purpose selected for the wider spectrum of participants, so you don’t need to be an expert to comprehend the content. It will be an opportunity to look beyond your own expertise.

We start today with the very first of the plenary sessions which is titled “Sustainable PV” and opens the conference on Monday from 8:30 to 9:30. Thematically it addresses large-scale manufacturing and its impacts on PV costs, and on impacts on the environment.

In Europe, the placement of the PV Value chain for the much desired “Circular Economy” is a goal of policies brought forward by the European Commission (DG GROW), and the Commissions in-house science body, the Joint Research Centre. The title of the presentation AP.1.1 - Net-Zero Growth in the Solar PV Sectors: an International Analysis of Manufacturers and Policies surprises at first glance, because no-one at the conference wants a zero-growth of PV industry… However, if you join this plenary, you will learn how this soon largest energy industry can grow without growing in proportion its manufacturing related emissions which is so far a concern as long as wafer production relies on coal-generated electricity. You will be introduced to the variety of GHG emissions in the value chain and then understand how to overcome most of these emissions even if PV production rises fife-fold within the next decade. As an even larger growth of PV “Made in Europe” is expected, the presentation will also report on policy options aimed to reduce the carbon footprint of PV modules and systems. This plenary is certainly a scene-setter for the conference days to come!

Going more into the detail of manufacturing processes, the plenary AP.1.3 - A Comprehensive Study of Silicon Solar Cell Technologies Across the Globe for Sustainable Integrated Manufacturing by RCT Solutions, Konstanz, Germany goes deeper into the manufacturing process steps, from the Silicon-ingot until the electricity generation after final deployment. It compares the upcoming cell-technologies (TopCon, HJT, IBC) with the current technology champion PERC and calculates the overall “Cost of Ownership” as well as the Levelized Cost of Electricity in all climatic zones of the globe. If you need to understand why there is not too much cost difference between the technologies and how much the difference in PV generation cost will be when installed in Reykjavik compared to La Paz, you should not miss this plenary. You will for sure also gain a good understanding of what all these technology acronyms mean!

You certainly noticed, that in this preview the invited presentation AP.1.2. is missing. We will give you more detail in one of the next previews, when we’ve got the precise title confirmed.

Organised by:

WIP Renewable Energies
Sylvensteinstr. 2
81369 Munich
Technical Programme
coordinated by:

European Commission -
Joint Research Centre

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