Skip to main content

TOPIC 5:  PV in the Energy Transition

This topic covers the broad spectrum of multidisciplinary efforts required to ensure the rapid deployment of PV technologies on a large and global scale as a key technology of the energy transition and the broader ecological transition. As such it covers a range of aspects, ranging from integration of large quantities of PV generated electricity into the energy system, including storage. Other topics include ensuring that the sustainable and ecological implementation of PV, through financing, market development and policy making as well as addressing and ensuring societal acceptance of the role of PV in a just energy transition. Papers that deal with essential aspects of sustainability, such as disposal, recycling, and resource issues as well as PV in the circular economy are dealt with in subtopic 5.2 sustainability of PV. Sustainable design and manufacturing is a key concern for the entire PV ecosystem, and hence specific technological improvements that have a sustainability objective (such as reducing material use or improving recyclability) nevertheless belong in their specific subtopic.

5.1     Energy System Integration; Resilience and Security of Supply; Solar Fuels, Storage

Energy management, resilience and security of supply with PV including modelling of integrated supply-demand systems, digital monitoring, control, forecast and dispatch involving various energy sources and users, including heat pumps, electromobility and others; Technology and engineering of storage systems and their integration; Direct applications of PV generated electricity, e.g., desalination, P2X (solar fuels and green Hydrogen)

Integration of PV generated electricity into the wider energy system, including balancing supply and demand.  Experience from other renewable sources and grid operators are welcome, including hybrid. The spectrum of storage systems covers: accumulators, supercapacitors, Redox flow, CAES, flywheels, storage in heat/cold, pumped hydro; seasonal storage including sizing, operation and performance; optimising the “dispatchability” and functionality of PV driven electricity systems. Scale may be local, to regional and continental, over time scales covering the full range from grid stabilisation to seasonal storage. Industrial applications in which PV generated electricity is converted directly into a useful product or service, including conversion of PV electricity into other energy carriers are also included here, e.g., PV-to-gas/fuels including hydrogen production (P2X); Water desalination, sterilization and upgrading; PV process heat/industrial processes.

5.2     Sustainability of PV

The topic addresses the sustainability of the PV supply chain, and of PV systems, life-cycle analysis (LCA) including carbon footprint and on ecological effects of PV applications on land and water. A further focus is the sustainability of materials used, sustainable design of customised products, product and application regulation concepts, decommissioning, reuse, recycling, disposal, and waste management. In this respect also contributions on raw material availability, resource efficiency and material flows as well as PV in the circular economy, urban and spatial planning are welcome.  Note that specific technological developments (especially at device or component level) may be best placed in the relevant subtopics, e.g., a cell designed for increased sustainability through reduced silver use would belong in Subtopic 1.2, and a new module material to facilitate recycling would fit best in 3.1.

As a renewable energy solution, PV must also address concerns about its environmental impact in production, use and end of life. This is the subtopic for abstracts related to environmental science and engineering, the impact of materials on health and safety, and for socio-economists dealing with the circular economy and LCA.

5.3    Scenarios for Renewables, Policy, Global Challenges

Modelling and scenario analysis; interplay with other renewable energy systems; Policies for R&D, innovation, manufacturing, deployment, supply chain diversification, resilience, and energy security; role of policy, trade barriers and taxation, regulatory frameworks for grid integration; education, training and job creation; Upscaling of PV and deployment at TW scale. PV roll-out in developing and emerging economies.

This is the subtopic for policymakers, researchers, energy-law experts, media communicators, but also teachers and communicators. The more global aspects solicit papers from large, often collaborative efforts to analyse the role of PV in a larger context, often related to energy modelling or scenario analysis (including 100% renewables). Projecting PV towards 2030, 2050 and comparing the calculations are typical subjects in this subtopic, as well as the relation of PV to greater policy efforts in different regions of the world, or international agreements, including UN Sustainable Development Goals and IPPC.

5.4    Costs, Economics, Finance and Markets

Cost models and cost reduction, value enhancement (i.e., societal, environmental); PV Levelized Cost of Electricity (PV LCOE) competitiveness, economics of, and business models for PV and storage/conversion (P2X); PPAs, financing and investment; market development and segmentation; market design for PV as dispatchable power and electricity market participation and integration; utility scale development, prosumer aspects and digitalisation. PV business models, finance and deployment in developing and emerging economies; implementation experiences at local and regional scale; energy access.

In this subtopic we address market analysts, project developers and business experts from finance, and investment and utilities. It covers the more non-technical aspects of installing and dispatching PV electricity, new scenarios and the market conditions required to make them happen as well as analysis of present market development and trends.

5.5    Societal Challenges; Citizens’ Participation, Awareness

PV impacts on society, awareness and social acceptance of the energy transition, barriers perceived by society, roles of citizens and examples addressing these, role of behaviour, cooperatives enabling PV deployment, trade-offs between different societal goals. Energy affordability and energy poverty.

This subtopic addresses SSH scientists and looks at societal challenges around the ongoing energy and ecological transition, and how to ensure the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies in a rapid and fair manner. Citizen’s participation is essential at the local and global scale and methods and studies to help achieve this are relevant here.

For any questions concerning abstract submission please contact:

EU PVSEC Programme Secretariat

Lisa Grosshans
Buse Yildiz

+49-89 720 12 735
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organised by:

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

European Commission -
Joint Research Centre

Get in touch with us.
Follow Us on: