SEPA Introduces PV Technology Characterization Review

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), an educational and research nonprofit focused on helping utilities integrate solar into their operations, has released its Photovoltaic Technology Characterization Review.

The review provides an analysis of technical metrics across commercialized PV materials, including manufacturing processes, efficiency and performance, market applications, and environmental characteristics.

‘U.S. photovoltaic economics are affected by wide-ranging climatic, policy and financial diversity,’ says SEPA Technical Director Christy Herig. ‘Utilities and their customers can use technology characteristics to minimize risk and insure long-term bankability.’

During the past two decades, the PV market has changed from mainly off-grid applications, which had a 70% market share in 1992, to grid-connected applications, which had a 95% market share in 2008, SEPA says.

Although still a minor percentage of the global generation portfolio, PV technology embodies a transformation from the traditional energy market. Short- and long-term investments require an understanding of the photovoltaic technologies from the manufacturing process through deployment, according to the organization.

‘Utilities are increasingly interested in learning about these new technologies and the direct and indirect trade-offs when making technology choices and partnering with companies on projects,’ says SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm.

The report is free to SEPA members. Non-members may download the executive summary or purchase the full report.

SOURCE: Solar Electric Power Association

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