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Photo of Photovoltaic Solar Panels.

Photovoltaic (PV) research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on boosting solar cell conversion efficiencies, lowering the cost of solar cells, modules, and systems, and improving the reliability of PV components and systems. NREL's PV effort contributes to these goals through fundamental research, advanced materials and devices, and technology development.

Our scientists are pursuing critical activities that will help to accomplish the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative—to make large-scale solar energy systems cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020.

Our PV R&D emphasizes innovation in the following photovoltaic conversion technologies:

Our PV R&D also includes:

We conduct this research in collaboration with universities and the solar industry through research partnerships and through direct support of the PV R&D performed within the National Center for Photovoltaics.

In addition to our current and planned activities, the following projects have been cornerstones in NREL's PV technology R&D program. These projects have all made major contributions to advancing PV technology and developing the U.S. PV industry.


Mary Werner
NREL Solar Program Manager
Phone: 303-384-7366

Greg Wilson
Director of the National Center for Photovoltaics
Phone: 303-275-4126

Resources Find what you needed?
The Process Integration Approach: PV Partnerships