The goal of the energy revolution in Germany is to cover the private and industrial energy demand from renewable energies by 2045. The tense situation in Europe shows that this is beneficial for both the environment and the self-sufficiency of the entire European Union economy in general. The task is therefore to promote the generation of electricity from wind, water, and sun.
One of the leading energy research and development institutes in Europe is the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie - und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg [ZSW]) based in Stuttgart. The ZSW is dedicated to this very goal of achieving a 100% energy supply from renewables in Germany by 2045.
If renewable energies are weighted according to their availability, solar technology is considered core. Simply because the radiant power of the sun can be planned better than the power of the wind. An extra benefit is that solar power plants can be deployed in a decentralized way, i.e., away from the coasts in offshore wind farms or tidal power plants throughout Germany.
In addition to expanding the areas for solar parks, on the roofs of houses, etc., it is also important to increase the efficiency of each individual solar cell. In other words, to absorb more light from the incident sunlight.
The challenge: A conventional silicon solar cell reaches its theoretical performance limit at an efficiency of 29% (Shockley-Queisser Limit). This means that a maximum of 29% of the incident light energy can be converted into electricity.