Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System

The German Energy Transition in its Social Context
Study from Fraunhofer ISE | February 2020

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PV Research and Production in Europe

The coalition ‘Solar Europe Now’ is calling for the recognition of solar energy as a key driver to deliver on the European Green Deal ambitions.

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Integrated Photovoltaics – Areas for the Energy Transformation

Integrating PV technology into building envelopes, vehicles and roads, as well as over agricultural fields and floating on water surfaces, capitalizes on surface areas with a tremendous potential for generating solar power.

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Digitalization: The Enabler and Driver of the Energy Transition

In the future energy system, digitalization is key for decentralization and flexibility as well as achieving energy and resource efficiency.

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Photovoltaics is a central pillar of the future energy supply from both an economical and ecological point of view.

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Energy Efficient Buildings

Energy efficiency in buildings plays a central role in climate protection. Currently the building sector in Germany is responsible for over 40% of the final energy demand.

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Solar Thermal Power Plants and Industrial Processes

Already today, concentrating solar thermal power plants (CSP) coupled with large thermal storage units provide dispatchable renewable electricity. Such systems show great potential for industrial systems, increasing efficiency and allowing more flexibility in the energy flows.

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Hydrogen Technologies and Electrical Energy Storage

Our R&D services address the generation, conversion and further thermo-chemical processing of hydrogen. In electrical energy storage, we offer R&D along the entire value chain: from materials, through the cell and module up to the complete battery system.

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Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems

We are working to optimize the interplay between efficient renewable energy generation, the security of supply, energy storage and stable grid operation.

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Dear customers, project partners, sponsors and friends,

The COVID-19 pandemic presents us with great challenges and requires all of us to act responsibly.
Our overriding priority is protecting the health of our employees and society in general. Therefore, we strictly adhere to the official regulations set down on the city, state and federal levels and the guidelines of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. In addition, we are implementing measures specific to Fraunhofer ISE.
Taking these requirements into account, Fraunhofer ISE will remain at your service: We continue to work on your projects, do research and development in our laboratories and provide the services you are used to. At present, some of our employees are alternately working at the institute or in the home office. This change of location varies from day to day. However, thanks to modern digital tools, we are able to ensure our continued cooperation. The best way to therefore get in touch with your contact person is by e-mail. Should you still have difficulties contacting us, please call our central number: +49 761 4588-0.

We wish you, your relatives and employees continued good health!

Warm regards,

Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bett

Institute Directors Fraunhofer ISE

R&D for Energy Transition

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE creates the technological foundations for supplying energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialized, threshold and developing countries. With its research focusing on energy conversion, energy efficiency, energy distribution and energy storage, it contributes to the broad application of new technology.

Fraunhofer ISE develops materials, components, systems and processes in five business areas. In addition to its R&D, the institute offers testing and certification procedures. Furthermore, it features an excellent laboratory infrastructure and is certified according to the quality management standard, DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. Founded in 1981, Fraunhofer ISE, with a staff of over 1200, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.

Current Press Releases


Press Release #29 / 13.10.2020

Consortium Develops Compact Refrigeration Circuit for Heat Pumps Using Propane

Fraunhofer ISE is developing a compact and cost-efficient refrigeration circuit for heat pumps which use propane as refrigerant in the research project "LC150 Development of a Refrigerant-reduced Heat Pump Module with Propane", funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi.


Press Release #28 / 5.10.2020

C3PO Project: New Laser-Based Contacting Process Developed For Solar Cells

Fraunhofer ISE has developed an alternative process for producing solar cell contatcs, the laser transfer and firing (LTF) technique.


Press Release #27 / 30.9.2020

Fraunhofer ISE Receives f-cell Award 2020

The Fraunhofer ISE received the f-cell Award this year in the category "Research & Development". The prize distinguished their work on the development of flatbed screen printing as an industrially scalable manufacturing process for fuel cell electrodes. Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector for Baden-Wuerttemberg Franz Untersteller presented the award personally during the f-cell conference in Stuttgart on September 29.


Press Release #26 / 28.9.2020

HighLine Technology GmbH – New Fraunhofer ISE Spin-Off for Sustainable Solar Cell Production

HighLine Technology GmbH, the most recent Fraunhofer ISE spin-off company, aims to commercialize a new process, whereby a contactless dispensing process is used to apply front metal contacts onto solar cells.

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News and Events


Trade Fairs, Conferences and Workshops


Fraunhofer ISE receives two Best Student Awards at 37th EU PVSEC

Patricia Schulze and Christoph Messmer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE received Best Student Awards at the 37th European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition. The Awards encourage high-quality work amongst young researchers and recognize their remarkable and outstanding research work in the field of photovoltaics. Both young scientists work on perovskite silicon tandem solar cells, a promising technology that can overcome the theoretical efficiency limit of silicon solar cells.
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First International Conference on Agrivoltaics to be held in October 2020

Agrivoltaics enables the dual use of land for harvesting agriculture and solar energy. It not only offers opportunities for food and energy production but also can make a valuable contribution to protect soil and plants. The first international conference on agrivoltaic systems AgriVoltaics2020 has been rescheduled due to the Corona pandemic and will now take place on October 14-16, 2020 as an online event. This year’s motto is "Launching Agrivoltaics World-Wide".
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Prof Henry Snaith awarded with European Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics

The European Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics was awarded for the twenty-eighth time in 2020 on the occasion of the 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference. After a public nomination phase, the Prize winner was selected by the Becquerel Prize Committee: Prof Henry Snaith, Professor of Physics and Group Leader Photovoltaics and Optoelectronics Device group at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
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Fraunhofer ISE: Climate Protection Targets in Energy Supply achievable

The study »Paths to a Climate- Neutral Energy System - The German Energy Transition in its Social Context « by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE examines development paths of the German energy system that lead to a reduction of energy-related CO₂ emissions between 95 and 100 percent by 2050. Achieving these climate protection goals in energy supply based on renewable energy sources is feasible from a technical and systemic point of view. However, social behavior is proving to be a decisive factor in the path the energy transition is taking and in the costs of system conversion.
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New Articles on Innovation4E:


PV Module Power Increases with Improved Light Management

A novel system of optical elements redirects light so that the irradiance on the cells is increased, no light passes the pv module “unused” and more power is generated. An important goal of PV module development is to convert as much light as possible into electrical power and to reduce losses from reflection and absorption. [...]
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Setting the Course till 2030 to Achieve a Climate-Neutral Energy System

There is hardly anyone in Germany who still opposes the consensus of the Paris climate agreement. It obilgates us to limit global warming to 2 or better still 1.5 degrees. A central element of this agreement is therefor the energy transition. However, despite agreement that we need a climate-neutral energy system, the way to achieving [...]
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High-precision and Fast – Matching the Latest in Electronics Production with Rotary Printing

Reducing production costs for high-tech mass products: Most probably this becomes more relevant during economically challenging times than during periods of economic upswing. The mass production of silicon solar cells is a good example. Wafer-thin material, highly clean laboratory conditions and the highest demands on production conditions make the manufacture of solar cells one of [...]
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A More Sustainable Economy Needs a Strong Solar Industry

In recent months, the current crisis centered on the corona virus has diverted attention from the more long-term climate crisis. But then the demand came from all over Europe to use government economic stimulus packages specifically to support more sustainable economic sectors. Many people demand a “Green Recovery”, including us at Fraunhofer ISE for the [...]
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Scientific Blog of Fraunhofer ISE


We want to share our expertise with you. The scientific blog of Fraunhofer ISE  »Innovation4E« offers a platform for information and exchange.