New research facilities to support solar technologies in the EU
New facilities are being inaugurated today at the European Solar Test Installation (ESTI), managed by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The upgraded laboratories allow ESTI to assess the performance of new and improved photovoltaic (PV) devices, to perform pre-normative research and to help develop international standards. At the current investment costs of less than 1500€/kW, Photovoltaics have a strategic importance for competitive renewable energies, and a long-term potential for increased efficiency (from the current 14% PV cells efficiency up to over 60%). ESTI is a reference laboratory aimed at verifying technological achievement and enabling European R&D efforts in this area translate into commercial products.