CdTe thin-film solar industry leaders launch PVthin
An international non-profit organisation under Belgian law, PVthin was created to strengthen global energy security and help create sustainable energy infrastructures by promoting the social, economic and environmental benefits of thin-film solar photovoltaic technologies. PVthin represents companies committed to the development of thin-film solar PV products based on chalcogenide compounds. Founding members include CdTe solar cell manufacturers Abound Solar, Arendi, Calyxo, First Solar and GE Energy. Another founder of the project is 5N Plus which is one of the key suppliers of CdTe and CdS, essential components of thin-film solar modules. “The success of thin-film solar panels is one of the most exciting developments in solar energy in recent years,” said Andreas Wade, President of PVthin. “PVthin was created to champion the role of thin-film PV and communicate the unique technological, environmental and socio-economic aspects of this cost effective and environmentally friendly solar technology. PVthin complements the excellent work of umbrella associations such as EPIA in Europe, SEIA in the US, and BSW in Germany and does not seek to create a rival organisation” he said. As the name suggests, thin-film photovoltaic solar modules employ a very thin layer of semiconductor—usually just a couple of microns thick—in place of a traditional wafer. Simpler to manufacture, thin-film PV makes more efficient use of raw materials and energy and results in both lower costs and smaller carbon footprints. Thin-film PV now accounts for around 18% of global PV sales, from almost nothing a decade ago, and is leading the way to affordable solar electricity. Thin-film PV also lends itself to relatively simple mechanical and chemical recycling, ensuring the recovery of valuable raw materials when the need to replace the modules arises—often at no additional cost. PVthin aims to strongly promote efficient and energy-saving production, raw material use and state-of-the-art PV recycling and recovery programs and technologies in cooperation with other organisations supporting this objective.