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Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Report – Fraunhofer ISE and NREL Analyze Status of Market and Technology

February 4, 2015

The German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have compiled a study that describes the status of the current market as well as the state-of-the-art for concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology. This young technology has achieved tremendous progress and has the potential for delivering solar electricity at a cost-competitive level in sun-rich regions with high direct irradiation values. Recent progress in CPV technology is impressive; record efficiencies for modules (36.7%) and cells (46%)—both achieved by Fraunhofer ISE—go along with a remarkable growth of large field installations in recent years. 
 
The Current Status of Concentrator Photovoltaic Technology study gives an overview of all installations larger than 1 MW, of all companies active in the field of high and low concentration technologies, and of efficiency values and the levelized cost of electricity for this technology. With the intention of providing information for people interested in CPV technology, this study is now being published for the first time by the two largest solar energy research centers worldwide, NREL and Fraunhofer ISE. The study will be updated every six months.

—Alexis Powers