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SINTEF does research to investigate how we can exploit solar energy as a contribution to securing a reliable and sustainable energy supply for the future.

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All renewable energy originates from the sun, and direct harvesting of solar energy, primarily electricity from solar cells (photovoltaics), but also heat from solar collectors gain popularity. Research is necessary to make solar energy cheaper, more accessible and better integrated in our energy supply. 

Solar energy is experiencing a vast growth both in Norway and globally. Many places solar energy is competitive without subsidies. Solar energy will play a pivotal role in the energy transition from fossil to renewables and provide clean energy to a growing population and in parts of the world where many people still do not have access to electricity.  

SINTEF is doing research in many areas which contributes to making solar energy more efficient, more competitive, and more environmentally friendly. This involves increasing the efficiency of solar cells and solar collectors to be able to transform more of the solar radiation to usable electricity and heat, as well as improving the integration of PV installations and solar collectors in buildings and energy systems. We are also doing research on how the production of solar cells and solar installations can be improved. The aim is to reduce costs, improve quality and reduce environmental impacts amongst others by reuse and recycling of materials and components.  

Research topics

Silicon production 
and material development

Silicon is the cornerstone for 95% of today's solar cells. The material still constitutes a large research area.

List of expertise:

Solar cells,

PV modules


Solar cells is the energy source of the future. The price decreases and efficiency increases steadily thanks to research on solar cell and module technology.

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photovoltaic systems

A carbon neutral society requires solar cells implemented on a large scale. Then it is important to develop the optimal system solutions, from solar roofs to large parks, and even floating on the sea!

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Solar heat for the
process industry (SHIP)

A SHIP system provides renewable solar heat  to an industrial process by converting solar heat directly into usable heat.  Research is focused on implementing innovative technologies to increase the operation temperature, optimize the efficiency and the possibility to have cold production.

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Integration technology has become important due to the world’s energy requirements. Solar system integration has a goal to effectively manage solar energy and;  integration issues and compatibility of the different systems  need to be adressed. 

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To be able to maintain the value of materials and PV-modules, research on reducing material- and energy consumption, closing material flows, removing waste, prolonging product lifetime and developing repairable and recircable product design is needed. 


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Carbon capture using sunlight and mirrors

Carbon capture using sunlight and mirrors

Researchers are planning a solar energy plant that will capture ‘concentrated sunlight’ using mirrors. The plant will also be distinctive because it will generate both electricity and heat, which can be used to capture carbon dioxide.

Snow-repelling solar cell panels could boost generation in Norway

Snow-repelling solar cell panels could boost generation in Norway

Norway has seen an increase in solar power capacity in recent years, but in winter solar panels face a big problem: snow. Researchers modelled how much extra electricity could be generated if solar panel surfaces were designed to repel snow and ice.


Modelling tools


Previous webinar:

Upcoming webinars:

  • System Integration
  • Solar energy in the power system
  • Utilization of solar thermal energy
  • Monitoring Installations