The 7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics will be held in Freiburg, Germany, April 3-5, 2017. In its seventh iteration, the conference comes back to the Green City Freiburg, close to the Black Forest with its mountains and creeks. Here it will be hosted by Fraunhofer ISE, Europe’s largest solar energy research institute, and will once again focus on advanced technologies, materials and concepts for crystalline silicon solar cells and modules.

The significance of this event lies with the tremendous development that PV has undergone throughout the past 15 years. It has a cumulated annual growth of more than 30% per year and a cost reduction of PV modules of more than 80%. But can we take it for granted that it will be a major source of future worldwide electricity supply? No, we cannot but it is highly likely due to the abundance of solar radiation, the speed of construction and the potential to further reduce the levelized cost of solar electricity. Yes, crystalline silicon has been the dominant photovoltaic material so far but can we take it for granted that it will remain this way for the next 20 years or more? No, we cannot but it seems highly likely. Most reasons are obvious and unchanged: efficiency potential, abundant raw material supply, non-toxicity and the availability of scalable technologies.

If these developments are not yet certain, what conditions have to be fulfilled to meet the foreseeable success? Obviously we can secure a bright future for crystalline Si photovoltaics by supporting further cost reduction and by enhancing sustainability. It is a responsibility of our scientific community to support such progress in silicon photovoltaics. In my view Silicon PV is the ideal event to attend for sharing and understanding current developments and upcoming trends. Silicon PV covers short-, mid- and long-term issues in silicon photovoltaics including;

  • processing and characterization of multi- and mono-crystalline silicon including defect passivation as well as locally contacted dielectrically passivated solar cells and modules,
  • solar cells based on selective contacts and advanced interconnection and encapsulation technologies as well as
  • crystalline silicon based tandem solar cells shifting the efficiency limit beyond the single-junction.

All these topics will be covered following the successful format established by these conferences; a blind review process for abstract evaluation, plenary presentations, a common day with the overlapping npv Workshop and many breaks for networking and exchange.