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Project SOPHIA

Photovoltaic European Research Infrastructure

Photovoltaic European Research Infrastructure

European Union

RSE SpA

2011-2015

Paolo Morabito

ABSTRACT

Photovoltaic solar energy is becoming, slowly but surely, a mature source of energy. The average year-to-year growth of module production has been 40% for the last decade. Its potential in the European Union is huge, with a share between 10 to 20% of the electricity consumption in the coming decades, with many applications such ground-mounted power plants and building-integrated systems. Europe is the leading market in the world, with an industry competing strongly with the Asian companies to maintain its market share.

Most of the large R&D organizations in this field are European. The SOPHIA project will bring together 18 main Photovoltaic Research Centers in Europe, most of them being part of the newly created European Energy Research Alliance. Three types of activities will be developed within the Sophia.

Networking Activities. Aiming at the creation of a stable framework for cooperation in which resources are shared, common standards developed, duplication of unintended research efforts is avoided and interaction with European research, education and industry is encouraged.

Joint Research Activities. Developing common standards and procedures for better consortium performance and development of advanced instrumentation and new research infrastructures thus improving the services offered to the user community. The four key topics will be quicker lifetime assessment, more accurate energy prediction, advanced material characterization and improved cell and module modeling. Service Activities with a transnational access. Opening the doors of the most relevant R&D infrastructures to interested users, optimizing the use of the facilities and creating critical mass for new research initiatives.


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