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New world record set for solar energy efficiency as market booms

The latest milestone in the development of the world’s fastest-growing renewable power technology will be a boon to investors, stakeholders and manufacturers. 

Breaking the previous record by 1%, Oxford PV, one of the UK’s leading names in next-generation solar technologies, has confirmed its best performing system now offers 25% conversion efficiency, representing a significant step up on previous iterations. 

While the rollout of solar technologies is been gathering pace over recent years, with this source now accounting for two-thirds of all renewable capacity, efficiency has long been a major concern. Producing panels, and gathering the materials needed to make them, is widely understood to have a hugely detrimental impact on the planet, and therefore maximising the output of these systems is essential. 

By being able to produce more energy in the same surface area, it is also expected that the cost of electricity could begin to fall. Currently, experts at Oxford PV – which is a spin-out of the world renowned University of Oxford – estimate the best possible efficiency rate from perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells is, theoretically, 43%, much better than the 30% ceiling for silicon solar cells. 

‘Our record-breaking solar panels demonstrate that we are on the cusp of the next solar revolution, which will be delivered, in part, by our tandem cell technology,’ said Chris Case, Chief Technology Officer at Oxford PV. ‘Solar energy is currently among the most cost-effective and sustainable energy sources.’

‘Our continuous advancements in technology will further enhance module efficiency – producing more electricity from the same area – and extending their use to all market sectors from residential, commercial through to utility scale,’ he continued. ‘2024 is set to be a pivotal year for Oxford PV, as the company scales-up manufacturing and continues to progress plans for a new factory to produce its tandem solar cells in high volumes.’

More on solar: 

Inside the Eco Hubs preparing school kids for green industries

UK’s first subscription solar power service secures funding

42MW of solar capacity added by Low Carbon expansion

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