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What is solar power research?

  • Securing and further improving the competitiveness of the German photovoltaic companies through innovations
  • BMWi and BMBF support research efforts of the PV industry in Germany with around 50 million EUR for a period of three years

The demand for photovoltaic products is growing substantially around the world, while the technology itself is being developed rapidly and prices decrease quickly. In this dynamic environment, German companies must use innovations and research-related investments or they will not be able to defend their market position. This is why the Federal Government has launched the initiative R&D for Photovoltaics, or Solar Power Research for short. Through this initiative, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) support research efforts of the photovoltaic industry in Germany with a total of around 50 million EUR, over a period of three years. This is done within the framework of the sixth Energy Research Programme (“Energieforschungsprogramm”) and the Support Programme Photonics Research Germany (“Förderprogramm Photonik Forschung Deutschland”). Under this initiative, more than ten research schemes receive financial support for their projects that will end in 2017/2018.

The goal of solar power research is to promote Germany-based business models with value chains together with the industry and industry-related services. The international competitiveness of the German photovoltaic industry and quality jobs in Germany are to be secured and expanded in the medium and the long term. This happens against the backdrop that the German photovoltaic industry has a strong location advantage, which the relevant players should take advantage of: in Germany, manufacturers, suppliers and global research leaders cooperate closely. In this way, the entire technology and value chain can be covered in the German solar cluster. At present, there is no other location offering comparable opportunities.

Funds may be granted to industry-led collaborative projects on application-oriented research of pre-competitive questions, which are characterised by a high degree of innovation and great scientific and technical risk. To strengthen the cooperation between PV manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and systems engineering equipment suppliers, partners of different value chains should work together in these collaborative projects.