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Next generation of thin-film photovoltaic technologies


Proposals will demonstrate alternative thin-film (including multilayer) technologies that can yield high-efficiency devices with expanded lifetime, through simple fabrication processes and the use of earth-abundant, low-cost materials complying with the RoHS guidelines.

Proposals are expected to bring the technologies from TRL 4-5 to TRL 6-7 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

Article 30.3 of the Horizon 2020 model grant agreement on IPR protection in EU – “EU right to object to transfer or licencing” is compulsory for successful proposals – see call conditions.

The topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme[[]].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 7 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The rapid expansion of photovoltaic solar energy conversion based on thin films of semiconductors could become subject to constraints arising from materials availability and security. For this reason, the development of alternative thin-film technologies based on earth-abundant elements has become a priority.

The projects are expected to lower the cost and environmental impact (measured through a life-cycle assessment) of innovative thin film devices and to significantly increase their efficiency, stability, device life time (>35 years) and performance, reliability and recyclability. The cost reduction should be demonstrated and backed-up with credible data and be significantly below the cost levels at call publication date. This will allow for novel PV applications and will open new routes for strengthening the European PV manufacturing industry. The outcome of successful projects will contribute to the Implementation Plan established in the context of the SET-Plan and in particular to the Initiative for Global Leadership in PV[[]]. Therefore, relevant indicators and metrics will be presented in the proposal.