|Photovoltaics and Materials IV: BIPV
Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is defined as PV materials that are employed as integral parts of a building. This has been driven by feed-in tariffs in Europe and by 2020 EU directives requiring “zero energy” building will drive future demand for BIPV. Today the high cost of BIPV materials relative to conventional building materials makes the proposition uneconomical without subsidies. The key to developing free market driven BIPV is via improved materials technology and designs that enable lower cost PV materials. This opens the door for thin film PV, especially due to its ability to manufacture PV cells on flexible substrates. The development of low cost CIGS technology has been especially important for BIPV and there are ongoing efforts in third generation PV, i.e. dye stabilized solar cells and organic PV. Developments like “solar shingles” are interesting first steps toward low cost BIPV. This Newsletter covers recent interesting recent developments relating to BIPV with focus on materials technology.