Presse Release #29

Fraunhofer ISE Participates as Research Partner in U.S. SunShot Initiative

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany has been awarded project funds within the framework of the U.S. SunShot Initiative. They are one of only three research partners in the program who are not from the USA. The SunShot Initiative was started in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Its aim is to reduce the electricity generation costs for solar electricity in the U.S. down to six U.S. cents per kilowatt hour, thereby making solar energy competitive with conventional fossil fuel energy sources. For over 30 years, Fraunhofer ISE has been working on increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells.

“We are delighted to be a European research partner in the second round of the SunShot Foundational Program to Advance Cell Efficiency (F-PACE). Our participation demonstrates the high level of international recognition that our research receives,” says Dr. Stefan Glunz division director of Development and Characterization at the Fraunhofer ISE. Together with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL and the project leader Georgia Institute of Technology, the Fraunhofer researchers will work on even further improving the efficiency of high-efficiency silicon solar cells. “The research focus will be on passivation strategies for solar cell contacts, emitter optimization as well as improved light trapping in the solar cell,” explains Glunz.

Prof. Dr. Eicke R. Weber, director of Fraunhofer ISE since 2006 and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was pleased about this cooperation. “Photovoltaics is a key player in the inevitable global energy transition to renewable energy sources and still holds potential for efficiency gains, which can be realized through international joint research efforts.”

About U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at

About Fraunhofer ISE
With a staff of 1300, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, based in Freiburg, is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe. Fraunhofer ISE is committed to promoting energy supply systems which are sustainable, economic, safe and socially just. It creates the technological foundations for supplying energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialized, threshold and developing countries. To this end, the institute develops materials, components, systems and processes for energy efficiency, energy generation, energy distribution and energy storage. Fraunhofer ISE also offers related testing and certification services to clients. The Institute is a member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. For more information, visit:

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