Solar Newsletter—June 2021

The Solar Newsletter is an electronic newsletter that provides information on NREL's research and development of solar technologies.

Satellite image of the US.

NREL Studies Opportunities for a Continental Low-Carbon Grid

The multiyear North American Renewable Integration Study (NARIS) explores continentwide integration of renewable energy to support a low-carbon future grid. Results show increasing electricity trade and expanding transmission could have significant benefits.

Photo of a damaged solar panel.

What It Takes To Realize a Circular Economy for PV System Materials

Repair, repower, reuse, or recycle? Three new NREL reports consider options for responsible, cost-effective decommissioning of retired PV equipment.

Photo of nine researchers in a 3X3 grid pattern, taken from a Microsoft Teams video call.

New Pathway Emerges To Improve Thin-Film PV Performance

Cadmium telluride, CIGS, perovskite, and other thin-film PV technologies could all benefit from a passivation technique recently demonstrated by NREL researchers. See how cross-technology collaboration at NREL unlocked this advance.

Photo of a close-up view of a solar panel with sun and blue skies in the reflection.

The Curtailment Paradox in a High Solar Future

Recent NREL work reveals two key findings that collectively constitute a “curtailment paradox” that emerges as grids evolve to higher solar penetration levels. The findings highlight the importance of thermal generator flexibility and solar operating reserves.

A screenshot of a YouTube video showing an animated neighborhood.

Video: Predicting How Many People Will Install Rooftop Solar

NREL analysts developed the Distributed Generation Market Demand (dGen) model to simulate how customers make decisions about rooftop solar. This explainer video outlines the factors that impact customer decisions and how the dGen model considers them.

Research Highlights

Second Half of 2020 Solar Industry Update

Grid-Scale U.S. Storage Capacity Could Grow Five-Fold by 2050

Complementary Interface Formation Toward High-Efficiency All-Back-Contact Perovskite Solar Cells

Quantifying the Solar Energy Resource for Puerto Rico

Upcoming Events


June 28 DOE PV Systems End-of-Life Workshop

July 12Results of DuraMAT's Cell Cracking Focus Group

July 13 – American-Made Solar Prize Round 5 Informational Webinar

July 15 – DOE Launches SolarAPP Online Permitting Platform

Aug. 9LCOE Calculator Tool for PV Fleets


June 30Perovskite Start-Up Prize Submission Deadline

July 15Solar Desal Prize Round 2 Submission Deadline

July 19 Cadmium Telluride Photovoltaics Accelerator Consortium Deadline

Oct. 21Solar District Cup Submission Deadline

Staff Profile – Ingrid Repins

Ingrid Repins

Principal Scientist and Research Fellow
PV Reliability Group

Ingrid Repins brings a long history in PV research and a deep knowledge of device physics to the study of PV degradation. Her team aims to better understand why PV modules degrade, reproduce degradation in the lab, and quantify its effects. She also teaches the occasional yoga class at NREL.

"I used to think that solar energy was all about maximizing electrons. But it also really matters how long systems last. Anything that affects the energy yield over the lifetime of the module is of interest to us."