Tuesday, September 4, 2007

MIT at the European Photovoltaic Conference

The EU Photovoltaics Conference has become the de-facto key PV conference worldwide. To judge its impact, take a look at the number of press releases on solarbuzz.com these last few days. Analysts from BoA predicted a short-term boost in solar stocks resulting from the conference and its surrounding publicity - they appear to have been right. The media is simply abuzz here. I was even interviewed on TV today after my talk. ;o)

Speaking of talks, there were three talks with MIT folks at the EU-PVSEC. Although few in number, all were plenary talks with good audience turnout:
1) Highly Mismatched Semiconductor Alloys for High-Efficiency Solar Cells, with P. Becla as co-author,
2) Luminescence Imaging, with myself as co-author,
3) Stress Evolution of Wafer Bulks and Edges During Industrial Solar Cell Processing, with myself as lead author
It's a good start, but let's continue to build on that in the years to come...

Overall, the number of U.S. groups represented in oral presentations has increased quite a bit vis a vis previous EU conferences, including Ajeet Rohatgi's group (Georgia Tech), Bhushan Sopori (NREL), Alan Barnett and Christine Honsberg (U. Delaware), and Ron Sinton (Sinton Consulting), not to mention participation from multiple industrial partners. I remember back in 2004 in Paris, when I was one of only 3 people representing U.S. groups to present! I was also pleased to see the growing number of booths in the exhibition hall from New England companies who passed on previous EU Conferences.

Overall, though, we have still far to come in terms of creating a robust "PV technology pipeline" in the U.S., from where companies can pick their next-generation technologies from a steadily-replentished menu of new developments from universities and reseach institutes. Another area where we can hopefully contribute to positive developments. With technology-focused MIT, we should - and must - make a solid contribution in this regard.

For additional coverage of the EU-PVSEC, I recommend visiting:

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