Feature Reports

Photovoltaic Solar Power Is Booming

L'essor photovoltaïque
Photovoltaic panels (or modules) can be adapted for a number of uses. ©THINKSTOCK

A module (or panel) just a few square centimeters in size is responsible for the spectacular growth of PV solar power. These millions of tiny components, available all over the world at one-fifth their cost five years ago, are poised to spur an energy revolution.

fr- Le solaire dans le mix énergétique mondial

Alongside wind, photovoltaic solar powerIn physics, power is the amount of energy supplied by a system per unit time. In simpler terms, power can be viewed as energy output... is the fastest developing energy source worldwide. But it’s going to need to pick up speed to achieve the “carbon neutrality” objective by 2050, which means no more CO2See Carbon Dioxid emissions than the planet can absorb. To get there, more gigantic photovoltaic farms need to be installed and more building-integrated systems added to parking lot canopies, public buildings and people’s homes.

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Les différents types de technologies photovoltaïques

The PV sector currently employs three main technologies. By far, the most common one uses a superabundant material, called siliconSilicon crystals come from silica, the main compound in quartz and sand. Silicon is a semi-conducting material. . The second, a thin film technology, involves the depositAn accumulation of natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, metal ore or another commodity... of a combination of various materials in ultra-thin layers onto a substrate. And the third, concentrated photovoltaics, or CPV, focuses sunlight up to 1,000 times its normal intensity on the cells.

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Photovoltaïque : une filière de plus en plus compétitive

Photovoltaic (PV) solar technology continues to grow at a significant pace, generating electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... at increasingly competitive costs compared with other sources of energy. Solar park developers compete aggressively on price when responding to calls for tender. This situation encourages the expansion of photovoltaic powerIn physics, power is the amount of energy supplied by a system per unit time. In simpler terms, power can be viewed as energy output... , but could potentially threaten the long‑term profitability of projects.

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