New $20m research group to support growth of US solar industry

It aims to make cadmium telluride solar cells – the second most common PV technology in the world after silicon – less expensive and more efficient

Big Zero Report 2022

A new research group that aims to support the growth of the solar energy industry in the US has been launched.

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced the $20 million (£16m) Cadmium Telluride Accelerator Consortium intends to make cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells less expensive, more efficient and develop new markets for solar cell products.

According to the DOE, CdTe solar cells were initially developed in the US and are the second most common photovoltaic technology in the world after silicon.

The new group will work on continued cost and efficiency improvements and more competitive on the global market, which includes plans to characterise and explore new CdTe contacting materials and develop a bifacial CdTe module that absorbs light from the front and back of the module.

It will be led by the University of Toledo, First Solar, Colorado State University, Toledo Solar and Sivananthan Laboratories.

Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “As solar continues its reign as one of the cheapest forms of energy powering our homes and businesses, we are committed to a solar future that is built by American workers.

“DOE is proud to partner with leading solar researchers and companies to chart the future of CdTe technology, which presents an immense opportunity for domestic manufacturers to help ensure our nation’s security while providing family-sustaining jobs.”

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