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.