Reasearch and development in the field of photovoltaics as one of the most promising long-term Renewable Energy Source solutions for electricity supply has immense importance for sustainable evolution in energy sector in Europe and Slovenia. Photovoltaics rapidly grows into an economy sector that grows on average around 40% per year. It increases quality and reliability of electricity supply, since it covers the peak demand and locally creates jobs.
The very begining of Slovenian photovoltaic industry has been initiated and supported by our research group as the largest and internationally recognized PV R&D group in Slovenia. In the last five years the company BISOL d.o.o. started production of wafer-based crystalline silicon PV modules, Trimo d.d. released a new family of building elements with integrated flexible thin film PV modules, ETI Elektroelement d.d. with development of DC fuses, many small private companies are focusing on engineering of PV systems. They all plan new PV products, which will be strongly export oriented.
Besides fundamental research, which generated numerous scientific publications in the top PV specialized international journals, we are more and more involved in applied research and development of new technologies and products in the field of photovoltaics and electronics.
The research program "Photovoltaics and Electronics" exhibits scientific potential and output adequate and comparable to other European world-renowned photovoltaic research groups. This has been reflecting in the international collaboration of group in European and bilateral projects. The emphasis is on solar conversion efficiency, technological solutions and structure optimization of solar cells and other optoelectronic devices. The members of the research program continue to present their latest achievements at specialized international conferences. With peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals and books the members contribute to global knowledge in the field of photovoltaics and electronics.
Emphasis of the program is on photovoltaic devices with improved multilayer structure and interface design along with increase conversion efficiency, in search for new technological solutions, decreasing costs of production. We continuously develop advanced numerical models and simulation tools for analysis of optical and optoelectronic properties of multi-layer structures. Increased cooperation with companies in Slovenia and abroad is evident. Our contribution to the development of science is reflected also in an increasing number of invited speeches at specialized international conferences and invited lectures at other universities and institutes around the Globe.
Energy situation will certainly strongly affect the future of economic development in Slovenia. Resorces of conventional energy sources become scarce, their harmful use accelerates climate change and environmental pollution. Energy sustainability of individial countries on macroeconomical level and of individual residential areas or houses on microeconomical level will importantly affect the socioeconomic system. The question of reliable, efficient and upmost sustainable and environmentally friendly energy supply will tailor the development and competitiveness also in Slovenia.
Research program "Photovoltaics and Electronics" is important for Slovenia from the following strategic and sustainable points:
- introduction of ecologically natural energy sources,
- contribution to new solutions in semiconductor structures in photovoltaics,
- development of photovoltaic modules and other products,
- affirmation of Slovenian research community in international arena,
- cooperation of research group with foreign research and development groups around the Globe,
- cooperation with other research groups and exchange of experiences, equipment and personnel in interdisciplinary fields,
- educating and training of highly skilled researchers in the field of applied sciences and technologies,
- transfer of know-how in the new economic sector and training of skilled personnel in the sustainable energy sector,
- deployment of ecology oriented strategy of Slovenia with the introduction of renewable energy sources for abatement of CO2 and other GHG emissions.
Continuous operation of our research program has decisive impact on development of photovoltaics as the profession and engineering practice in Slovenia.