Brussels, 15 Oct 2003
A procedure for measuring the power output of photovoltaic solar cells, developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), has been adopted by the international electrotechnical commission (IEC), clearing the way for harmonisation of the global solar cell market.
The retail prices of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells are directly linked to their power output, and the JRC's new calibration reduces uncertainty in power ratings to less that two per cent. This alone is expected to generate an additional 33 million euro for the PV solar cell market.
According to Commissioner for Research Philippe Busquin, 'Many countries and international bodies have taken an active interest in renewable and alternative energy technologies [...]. The JRC's role involves performance and lifetime assessment of the technologies involved and precision reference measurements on all generations of PV technology to ensure the highest quality can be achieved.'
The JRC believes that standardisation techniques need to keep pace with technological developments in order that the international trade in solar cell products and services can continue to grow. Such market growth is key to achieving the EU's aim of increasing the share of energy produced using renewable sources to 12 per cent by 2010.
Furthermore, it is hoped that as well as contributing to EU targets on renewable energy and boosting the solar cell industry, the JRC's measurement will also provide research organisations with an improved method for determining the power and efficiency of prototype products.
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