June 14, 2012
By: Bill Sweet
Source: IEEE Spectrum
The U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium has launched an effort to develop a roadmap for the copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) photovoltaic materials, long considered one of the most promising technologies for next-generation solar cells. The exercise presumably will be based on the influential roadmaps developed in recent decade for technologies deemed critically important to the nation's future, such as semiconductors and chip lithography. In keeping with the potential significance of the latest such exercise, the PV consortium has put three extremely well known solar technology experts in charge of building the CIGS roadmap.
The three co-chairs of the CiGS PV Roadmap will be Larry Kazmerski, long-time director of the National Center for Photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., the go-to place for certification of claimed advances in solar cells; Richard Swanson, the founding president emeritus of SunPower Corporation in San Jose, well established as a world leader in solar; and Joseph Laia, CEO of MiaSolé in Santa Clara, which specialized in CIGS and thin-film technology. Laia was previously group vice president for metrology at KLA-Tencor.
The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium is headquartered at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of Albany, in Albany, N.Y. It is closely affiliated with the semiconductor industry consortium Sematech and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. The PV consortium is shooting for a 75 percent reduction in the installed cost of solar systems over the next decade.