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ECN publication
Key technical and non-technical challenges for mass deployment of photovoltaic solar energy (PV)
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 1-12-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--01-070 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
5 Download PDF  

Presented at: Marcus Evance Conference "Distributed Power: The Commercialisation of Small-Scale Stationary Applications", London, UK, 4-5 december 2001.

Photovoltaic solar energy (PV) is used for direct conversion of sunlight into electricity. It is not to be confused with low-temperature thermal solar energy (e.g. solar domestic hot water systems) and with solar electricity production using a conventional high-temperature steam cycle (using parabolic troughs or "power towers"). Important features of PV are:- inherently renewable;
- sustainable if well designed, manufactured, used, and disposed;
- no moving parts, quiet;
- reliable if well designed and engineered;
- modular (from milliwatts to multi-megawatts);
- suitable for a wide variety of applications (stand-alone and grid-connected);
- large potential (regionally and globally);
- intermittent;
- capacity factor (ratio of average system power to installed (=peak) power) 0.08-0.24. PV is among the major renewable energy technologies in all well known energy scenarios, although a substantial role in % of the total energy production can only be achieved on the long term (typically 40-60 years years). Fortunately, long before that the PV market may be a rapidly growing, multi-billion ? business, providing enormous economic opportunities and many jobs.

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