Photovoltaics and other methods of converting sunlight to electricity
There are several accepted ways of converting solar radiation to electrical power.
Photovoltaics – PV
The sun’s energy can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells. PV cells can be used for applications as small as watches and calculators, to large grid-connected arrays of panels. The great attraction of PV technology is that it delivers electricity at the point of use, for example panels can be integrated into buildings to supply the buildings themselves.
In areas where grid connection or other forms of generation are too expensive or not feasible, PV can be very cost-effective. This may be in remote locations, but could also be in a city centre where grid connection may be impractical. For example it can be cheaper to power parking meters with solar energy than with power from the grid.
PV materials are usually solid-state semiconductors. Various forms are used:
- Mono-crystalline silicon
- Poly-crystalline silicon
- Amorphous silicon thin film
- Thin film cells of other materials such as copper indium diselenide (CIS) and cadmium telluride
- Organic solar cells
Other technologies are also under development.
AEA Solar Power, the voice of PV in the Albania, is one of several dedicated sectors within the AEA which focus on particular renewable resources or applications. This means that although AEA Solar Power has its own PV agenda, members benefit from being part of a larger organization with more political clout and expertise across the renewables industry as a whole, as well as keeping abreast of the details affecting the various renewable technologies and any cross-technology issues.
Our members comprise a wide variety of organizations including generators, project developers, fuel and power suppliers, equipment producers and service providers. Members range in size from major multinationals to small installers.
AEA Solar Power Main Policy Areas:
• Financial incentives
• Positive Planning Agenda
• Accreditation of installers and certification of micro-generation products
• Government’s decentralized renewables strategy
• Government support schemes
• Zero carbon buildings
• Code for Sustainable Homes
• Metering and distributed generation issues