Photovoltaics R&D: At the Tipping Point

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


'... with robust investments in research and market development, the picture changes dramatically.' Thus, the realigned U.S. Photovoltaic Industry Roadmap highlights R&D as critical to the tipping point that will make solar photovoltaics (PV) significant in the U.S. energy portfolio--part of a well-designed plan that would bring '2034 expectations' to reality by 2020. Technology improvement andintroduction depend on key, focused, and pertinent research contributions that range from the most fundamental through the applied. In this paper, we underscore the successes and relevance of our current systems-driven PV R&D programs, which are built on integrated capabilities. These capabilities span atomic-level characterization, nanotechnology, new materials design, interface and deviceengineering, theoretical guidance and modeling, processing, measurements and analysis, and process integration. This presentation identifies and provides examples of critical research tipping points needed to foster now and near technologies (primarily crystalline silicon and thin films) and to introduce coming generations of solar PV that provide options to push us to the next performancelevels (devices with ultra-high efficiencies and with ultra-low cost). The serious importance of science and creativity to U.S. PV technology ownership--and the increased focus to accelerate the time from laboratory discovery to industry adoption--are emphasized at this 'tipping point' for solar PV.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2005
Event2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 25 Oct 200428 Oct 2004


Conference2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

Presented at the 2004 DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program Review Meeting, 25-28 October 2004, Denver, Colorado. Also included in the proceedings available on CD-ROM (DOE/GO-102005-2067; NREL/CD-520-37140)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-520-37553


  • atomic-level characterization
  • interface and device engineering
  • markets
  • measurements and analysis
  • nanotechnology
  • new materials design
  • process integration
  • processing
  • PV
  • research and development (R&D)
  • theoretical guidance and modeling
  • tipping point


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