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  • In a new study, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have calculated that silicon photovoltaic modules manufactured in the European Union produce 40 percent less CO2 than modules manufactured in China. Using a life cycle analysis (LCA), the research team compared the CO2 footprint of monocrystalline solar modules manufactured in Germany, Europe and China. In the process, they also found that glass-glass modules enable an additional emissions reduction ranging between 7.5 to 12.5 percent compared to PV modules with backsheet films, regardless of their production location.

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  • Press Release #21 / 2021

    First agrivoltaic system for carbon-neutral orcharding being tested

    September 14, 2021

    As part of the project “APV-Obstbau”, BayWa r.e. and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have cooperated with other research partners to set up an agrivoltaic system for research purposes at the “Bio-Obsthof Nachtwey” in Gelsdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate. It is the first system of its kind in Germany. The total test area for the project covers around 9100 square meters. The agrivoltaic system, which has a capacity of 258 kWp, has been installed on approximately one third of the plot.

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  • Press Release #18 / 2021

    Project PV-Live: New solar irradiance data set published

    August 04, 2021

    Reliable projections and forecasts of photovoltaic generation are becoming more and more important to maintain a stable power grid and for solar energy trading on the electric power exchange. To improve such projections, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the transmission system operator TransnetBW have set up a network of measurement stations which record the current irradiance conditions in the control area on a minute-by-minute basis. These data are also extremely valuable for research in solar energy meteorology. The project partners have released the first quality-controlled data sets, thus making measurement data since September 2020, now publicly available.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, supported by PSE Projects GmbH, has been publishing the PV Report on a regular basis for the past decade. The report contains a compilation of the most important facts on photovoltaics (PV) in Germany, the European Union and worldwide, documenting, in particular, the development of the photovoltaic market, solar cell and module efficiency as well as the prices over the last decades. The latest edition is freely available on the Fraunhofer ISE website as of today.

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  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE just presented the data on the net electricity generation for the public power supply for the first half of 2021 from the Energy Charts data platform. At 47.9 percent, the share of renewables in the electricity mix coming out of the socket was much lower than in the first half of 2020 (55.8 percent). In the first six months of 2021, solar and wind fed a total of 87.3 terawatt hours (TWh) into the public grid, compared with 102.9 TWh within the same time period in 2020. This was mostly due to the large drop in wind power, which declined by 20.5 percent compared to 2020. In contrast, the share of net electricity generation in the public power supply from brown coal (+37.6 percent), hard coal (+38.9 percent), gas (+18.6 percent), hydropower (+15.9) and nuclear power (+7.1 percent) all increased.

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  • Example of a possible system design for floating PV.
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Floating photovoltaic power plants can contribute to the expansion of renewable energy without taking up land. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, RWE Renewables and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) are working together to further develop this innovative technology with other partners. In the joint research project PV2Float, the partners are to test several floating PV systems with different structure designs under real conditions over a three-year period. An Evaluation for a suitable open pit lake for the implementation is currently ongoing.

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  • © Fraunhofer ENIQ

    Fraunhofer Energy Research has a new location: the showroom "ENIQ - Energy Intelligence by Fraunhofer" located on the EUREF campus in Berlin. The facility functions as an interactive platform to serve the transfer of knowledge. Stake-holders from business, politics and society can discuss relevant topics with sci-entists, initiate projects and create innovations. Event formats for different tar-get groups are complemented by an exhibition area where innovative demon-strators and exhibits from Fraunhofer Energy Research are on display.

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  • 68.9 Prozent Rekordzelle
    © Fraunhofer ISE / Foto: Henning Helmers

    In addition to the classical applications for solar cells on roofs and open spaces, photovoltaic devices can also be used with laser light for efficient power transmission. At the 48th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE recently presented how they were able to achieve a record conversion efficiency of 68.9% with a photovoltaic cell under monochromatic laser light. For this, the research team used a very thin photovoltaic cell made of gallium arsenide and applied a highly reflective, conductive mirror on the backside.

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  • Stromgestehungskosten für erneuerbare Energien und konventionelle Kraftwerke an Standorten in Deutschland im Jahr 2021
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE have presented the newest edition of their study on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of renewable power plants. The fifth edition of the study analyzes the current costs and forecasts the future cost development up to 2040 based on technology-specific learning rates and market scenarios. "Wind and solar power plants in Germany have significantly lower LCOE costs than conventional power plants. Due to the rising price of CO2 certificates, the cost competitiveness of even existing coal and gas-fired plants will further decrease in the coming years," says project head Dr. Christoph Kost.

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  • In a brief study, scientists in the Energy Systems Analysis department at Fraunhofer ISE recently evaluated the data of photovoltaic systems registered in the Market Master Data Register (MaStR) and the master data set for subsidized systems. An important finding of the analyses is that the largest growth in PV capacity is taking place in the sector of rooftop PV systems larger than 100 kW. This sector accounts for 38 % of new PV systems. Also interesting is that 22 % of the newly installed PV systems are oriented to the west, east or east-west, and 19 % of these systems have tilt angles smaller than 20 degrees.

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