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Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium Aims to Reduce Costs and Accelerate Deployment of Low-Carbon Thin-Film Solar Technologies

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This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new three-year consortium aimed at accelerating the development of cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology by lowering the cost and increasing efficiency of thin-film solar cells. .

CdTe is the world’s second most popular photovoltaic (PV) technology after silicon. This thin film technology has achieved a record 22.1% cell efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity and can be manufactured at a cost comparable to silicon solar panels. His commercially produced CdTe panels also have the lowest carbon dioxide and water footprints and the shortest energy payback times of any currently available panel.

The CdTe Accelerator Consortium (CTAC) will deliver cell efficiencies of over 24% by 2025 and over 26% by 2030, while steadily reducing the cost per watt of manufacturing.

A record efficiency of 22.1% was achieved by First Solar in 2016. First Solar reported an average commercial module efficiency of around 18% at the end of 2020.

“CTAC will work to strengthen U.S. technology leadership and competitiveness in CdTe PV and bring together key organizations that influence the entire CdTe supply chain in the country,” said National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). ), said Nancy Haegel, director of the Materials Science Center at . “Research, manufacturing and deployment of CdTe PV technology is a success story in the United States. Investments and innovations in CTAC will drive future growth.”

CTAC is led by the University of Toledo, First Solar, Colorado State University, Toledo Solar, and the Sivananthan Institute.

Consortium leaders were selected through a competitive solicitation announced by NREL last year. The solicitation was for his CdTe technology development consortium to expand domestic production of CdTe PV materials and modules, support his chain of domestic CdTe supply, and strengthen U.S. competitiveness.

NREL oversees the consortium and acts as a resource, support, and technical analysis center. The Institute will also assist CTAC in initiating additional research efforts to achieve the goals set by the Consortium’s technology roadmap.

Together, $20 million will support CdTe research and $17 million will go to the consortium. The funding will be provided by his DOE’s Office of Solar Energy Technologies, which is committed to reducing costs, improving performance, and accelerating the deployment of solar energy technologies. Investing in solar technology is key to achieving the DOE’s goal of reducing the cost of solar energy by 60% within the next decade, improving performance, and paving the way for a clean energy future.

Learn more about the CdTe Accelerator Consortium.

 

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