Solar Newsletter

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

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Cadmium and chlorine atoms at the interface of tin oxide (SnO2) and CdTe crystals as seen through a structure prediction algorithm.

In Ultrathin Layers, NREL Researchers Find a Path to Better Materials

For more than three decades, photovoltaic researchers have known that the addition of a single chemical creates better-performing cadmium telluride solar cells. But they have not understood exactly why—until now. The answer has implications for materials science that stretch well beyond solar cells.

Lightweight barrier layers of silicon oxide peeled back to reveal the protected perovskites underneath.

A Thin Layer Protects Perovskites, Including From Radiation in Space

An ultrathin protective coating can protect a perovskite solar cell from the harmful effects of space and harden it against environmental factors on Earth. Although perovskites are naturally resistant to high-energy protons, the thin layer provides protection against previously problematic low-energy protons.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition identifier

Students From 39 Schools Advance to Finals of Solar District Cup

Competitors are designing distributed energy solar-plus-storage solutions to meet the needs of campus, tribal, and suburban mixed-use districts, giving them practice with industry tools and procedures that can make a positive impact as they prepare for careers in the renewable energy industry.

Tall city buildings jet up to the sky with the sun shining down on them.

Perovskite-Based Windows Reduce Energy Load and Carbon Emissions in Buildings

Thermochromic windows based on perovskite materials can absorb energy from the sun and shift from transparent to a visibly absorbing or reflecting state. The technology mitigates heating loads in warm climates and cooling loads in colder regions, leading to massive energy savings.

Research Highlights

Winter 2023 Solar Industry Update

Access Co-Deposition of Hole-Selective Contact and Absorber for Improving the Processability of Perovskite Solar Cells on Nature's website

Solar Power in Your Community Guidebook

Work with NREL

Join the National Community Solar Partnership, apply for technical assistance, and join the Community Power Accelerator on the U.S. Department of Energy's website.

Apply for Solar Energy Innovation Network Assistance for Early Adopters.

Staff Profile – Anthony Lopez

Anthony Lopez

Senior Geospatial Data Scientist
Materials, Chemical, and Computational Science Directorate

Anthony Lopez is a senior geospatial data scientist in NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center and has been at the laboratory for more than a decade. As a technical lead, Lopez develops novel geospatial computer modeling to answer real-world questions about renewable energy deployment.

Lopez and his team continue to refine their modeling to represent more of the built and natural environments. The NREL simulations show that local siting constraints could impact the overall potential of wind and solar and further alter the pace and scale of decarbonization.

"The solution isn't about unlocking more land. It's about coming up with more innovative designs that make these technologies more feasible to deploy and better integrated into the fabric of local communities and landscapes."

Read more about Anthony Lopez in his recent profile.