Photovoltaikanlage; Quelle: iStock.com/milosradinovic

© iStock.com/milosradinovic

More and more countries around the world are increasing their use of solar energy. In 2016, global installed photovoltaics capacity rose to a record level of around 295 gigawatts - and the figures are rising. Photovoltaics is making a considerable contribution to the success of the energy transition in Germany. The 1st plenary session of the photovoltaics sector in the context of the Renewable Energies Research Network in Berlin is focusing on the development of photovoltaics and the strategic research priorities.

State Secretary Baake said: "Photovoltaics is one of the main pillars of the energy transition. In the past, research and continuous development resulted in an unbelievable fall in costs. In the future, the systemic approach in research will become more and more important for the success of the integration of photovoltaics into the electricity grid, industry and buildings."

Today and tomorrow, around 120 representatives of research institutions, industry and government are coming together to find out more about recent developments in the fields of systems technology, technological aspects, the construction of installations and the production of components. Several working groups will intensively discuss the need for research for various technologies and procedures. In the coming months, the results will be fed into the consultation process on a new energy research programme for a fundamental reorientation of energy research.

The transition to a sustainable energy supply system requires technological innovation. And innovation requires a high level of research and technology. Therefore, energy research and the rapid translation of research findings into practical applications are key elements of our energy policy.

The energy research networks serve as an interface between government, business and science. Networks have been established in seven priority research fields, including buildings and neighbourhoods, and electricity grids. The measures in the context of the networks are currently focused on the elaboration of a new energy research programme. Photovoltaics is part of the Renewable Energies Research Network, which was set up in April 2016.

For more information on the Renewable Energies Research Network (in German), please visit: www.forschungsnetzwerke-energie.de/erneuerbare-energien.

You can find out more about the current German energy policy in the fortnightly Newsletter "Energiewende direkt".