Introduction To Solar PV Technology
There is a pressing need to accelerate the development of advanced clean energy technologies in order to address the global challenges of energy security, climate change and sustainable development. This challenge was
acknowledged by the Ministers from G8 countries, China, India and South Korea, in their meeting in June 2008 in Aomori, Japan where they declared
the wish to have IEA prepare roadmaps to advance innovative energy technology.
“We will establish an international initiative with the support of the IEA to develop roadmaps for innovative technologies and co-operate upon existing and new partnerships, including CCS and advanced energy technologies. Reaffirming our Heiligendamm commitment to urgently develop, deploy and foster clean energy technologies, we recognise and encourage a wide range of policy instruments such as transparent regulatory frameworks, economic and fiscal incentives, and public/private partnerships to foster private sector
investments in new technologies….”
To achieve this ambitious goal, the IEA has undertaken an effort to develop a series of global technology roadmaps covering 19 technologies.
These technologies are divided among demand side and supply side technologies. Our overall aim is to advance global development and uptake of key technologies to reach a 50% CO2 emission reduction by 2050 by having the IEA leading the development of energy technology roadmaps under international guidance and in close consultation with industry. The roadmaps will enable governments, industry and financial partners to identify steps needed and implement measures to accelerate required technology development and uptake.
This process starts with providing a clear definition and elements needed for each roadmap.
The IEA has defined its global technology roadmap accordingly:
“… a dynamic set of technical, policy, legal, financial, market and organisational requirements identified by the stakeholders involved in its development. The effort shall lead to improved and enhanced sharing and collaboration of all related technology-specific RDD&D information among participants. The goal is to accelerate the overall RDD&D process in order to deliver an earlier uptake of the specific technology into the marketplace.”
Each roadmap identifies major barriers, opportunities, and policy measures for policy makers and industry and financial partners to accelerate RDD&D efforts for specific clean technologies on both a national and international level.
The rationale for PV
Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth. The solar energy that hits the earth’s surface in one hour is about the same as the amount consumed by all human activities in a year. Direct conversion of sunlight into electricity in PV cells is one of the three main solar active technologies, the two others being concentrating solar power (CSP) and solar thermal collectors for heating and cooling (SHC). Today, PV provides 0.1% of total global electricity generation.
However, PV is expanding very rapidly due to dramatic cost reductions. PV is a commercially available and reliable technology with a significant potential for long-term growth in nearly all world regions. In the IEA solar PV roadmap vision, PV is projected to provide 5% of global electricity consumption in 2030, rising to 11% in 2050.
Achieving this level of PV electricity supply – and the associated, environmental, economic and societal benefits – will require more concerted policy support. Sustained, effective and adaptive incentive schemes are needed to help bridge the gap to PV competitiveness, along with a long-term focus on technology development that advances all types of PV technologies, including commercially available systems and emerging and novel technologies.
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