Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

European network on solar power

An EU-funded initiative brought together researchers and industrialists from across Europe to boost the development of solar technologies, enhancing transnational cooperation and business opportunities for solar power in Europe.
European network on solar power
In support of the EU’s ambitious targets for implementing renewable energy technologies by 2020, the European Commission has initiated the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). One of its key components is to establish industry initiatives that enable rapid, large-scale deployment of photovoltaics (PVs) and concentrated solar power (CSP) at minimum cost and maximum benefit for society. In particular, the Solar Europe Industry Initiative has set out to achieve 12 % contribution of PV electricity and grid parity in most of Europe by 2020.

Funded by the EU, SOLAR-ERA.NET (ERA-NET on solar electricity for the implementation of the solar Europe Industry Initiative) is an ERA-NET that brought together more than 20 research and innovation programmes in the field of solar electricity technologies in the European Research Area.

The network of national and regional funding organisations was established to increase transnational cooperation between research and innovation programmes. The aim was to contribute to achieving the objectives of the SET Plan through dedicated transnational activities in the field of solar electricity generation.

SOLAR-ERA.NET launched four joint calls for proposals, with up to 17 countries and regions participating with their RTD and innovation programmes. The total public funding budget was approximately EUR 12 million for each call.

From these calls, 32 transnational projects resulted (24 in PV and 4 in CSP) receiving EUR 23 million public funding. The projects covered a wide spectrum of modern research on photovoltaics. Topics included low-cost thermal energy storage systems, new materials for improved solar conversion efficiencies, smart solar energy management from cell to grid, and high-performance building-integrated PV. Other fields such as high-efficiency tandem solar cells, roll-to-roll processing of solar modules and competitive PV roofing systems were also addressed.

Active engagement of a large network of stakeholders helped build a more structured approach in the highly versatile PV research landscape.

Related information

Keywords

Network, solar power, transnational cooperation, photovoltaics, SOLAR-ERA.NET
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