UT Austin Makerspace (Fall 2018 IAB Meeting)
Nanotechnology is a key enabling technology for efficient solar power for the United States and the world. Researchers at the Center for Next Generation work on basic and applied applications for nanotechnology in microelectronics and photonics, spintronics, coatings, sensors and thin films
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
A Quick Center Overview
(Click to download the PDF.)