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Our Mission 

The Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics is part of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) program.  The vision and long-term goal of the Center is to help establish  photovoltaic (PV) electricity as a major source of energy in the United States and the world.  The Center is composed of an advisory board of industry and government partners that funds and directs cutting edge academic research in four areas:


(1) PV Materials/Devices/Manufacturing

(2) Balance of Systems and PV Implementation

(3) PV Integration with Storage and Electric Vehicles

(4) Education and Societal Impact of PV


Want to be part of the team?  See how to join now.

Global Photovoltaics Impact

By the end of 2016, the global installed solar PV capacity reached 305 GW which provided about 320 TWh/yr of electrical energy. This is equivalent to 0.15% of global energy consumption. The growth of the PV industry has been staggering. The global solar PV capacity was only 50 GW in 2010, and in 2000 it was a meager 4 GW. In 2016 alone, the global solar PV capacity rose by 50% due to new installations in China and the US. The PV industry is a $100 billion industry that is expected to continue to grow. By 2030, the total global PV capacity could reach 10 TW, generating about 5% of the anticipated global consumption of energy in 2030. 


To reach PV deployment of this magnitude, there are many challenge that must be overcome: (1) the total cost of PV systems must be reduced  while simultaneously increasing energy conversion efficiency, reliability and lifetime, (2) the capacity to cost-effectively manufacture solar cells and balance of systems components must be significantly increased, (3) methods to integrate PV into the utility grid must continue to improve to ensure affordable and reliable electricity, (4) transportation and building heating and cooling must be increasingly electrified and (5) technologies must be improved for energy storage, catalyzed chemicals and fuels production, and water purification. The Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics is addressing all of these key technological challenges to help make photovoltaic electricity a major source of energy in the world.

Benefits of  I/UCRC Membership  
  • Access to more than 8:1 Leveraged Research Funding

  • Organizational Exposure Channel and Commercialization Partners

  • Build Relationships with Future Industry Partners

  • Early Recruitment of Future Employees

  • Technology Transfer and Commercialization Assistance

A Quick Center Overview
NGPV Pamphlet Pg 1.png

(Click to download the PDF.)

Varun Rai's Distinguished Lecture Series talk
Varun, the Director of the UT Austin Energy Institute among other things, gave a talk entitled, "Reducing Solar Soft Costs: Who learns what, from whom, and how?" A team of researchers led by UT Austin worked to understand how best practices related to solar installation, permitting, and customer acquisition are transmitted. The talk presented the findings of this research, including network structures and strategies that promote solar knowledge transfer, organizational capacity building, and innovation. 
If you missed the talk, we've posted a video here on our YouTube Channel!
Dr. Michael D. Irwin's Distinguished Lecture Series talk
If you were unable to attend the talk live, you can watch a recording of it on our YouTube channel.
Michael, the Chief Technology Offier at Hunt Perovskite Technologies, gave a talk entitled, "An Industrial Perspective on Metal Halide Perovskite Research." The talk consisted of three parts: 1) an overview of photovoltaics (PV) and important commercial considerations, 2) an overview of metal halide perovskite PV, and 3) a snapshot of metal halide perovskite PV research within his company.
Jim Sites receives IEEE Cherry Award
Congratulations to NGPV team member Prof. Jim Sites on being awarded the 2020 IEEE William R. Cherry Award. This award, one of the most significant in the PV industry, is to recognize an individual engineer or scientist who has devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion. Congratulations from all of us, Jim!
More information can be found here at the IEEE website.
Thanks to the IAB for attending our Fall Meeting
Thank you to the IAB who were able to attend our virtual meeting! For those who missed it, minutes and a recording are available via the member site. Our next quarterly updates will be delivered on February 22, 2021.
Phase III NSF Proposal submitted
Thank you to everyone who assisted with the submission of our proposal to NSF for another 5 years in operation as an IUCRC. We should have the final word in early 2021. In the meantime, we'll continue our mission to further establish PV electricity as a major source of energy in the world.
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