PVTIME – Li Zhenguo, founder and president of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (LONGi), virtually attended the 8th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion that kicked off in Milan, Italy, on September 26. Speaking at the conference that will continue until September 30, he called for focusing on technological innovation to support the sustainable development of the PV industry. “At the crossroads of the global energy transition, every decision we make now has a bearing on the future of a livable planet,” Li Zhenguo said.
Significant breakthroughs have been made in the technological sector and photovoltaic power generation over the past decade, and photovoltaic power has become the most cost-effective source of electricity for most countries in the world. Coupled with a global consensus on carbon neutrality, the world is accelerating the deployment and use of renewable energy.
“As the fastest growing renewable energy source in the world, photovoltaic will continue to increase its share in the energy mix and play a key role in the process of energy transition, helping to achieve the global carbon neutrality goal,” Li Zhenguo said.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres once said that “with climate action going backwards, renewable energy efforts must now triple”. Driven by climate action and energy transformation, by 2030, the world’s newly increased photovoltaic installed capacity needs to reach 1500GW-2000GW to effectively support the global energy transition. “Such periodic product renewal will also bring huge stock replacement, and will form a ‘Terawatt Class’ sustainable market,” Li Zhenguo added.
At present, 177 countries in the world have announced or are considering joining the teams of net zero emission commitments, demonstrating their determination to develop the renewable energy industry. The energy transformation during the next 30 to 40 years is already a certainly.
“In the face of the arrival of the ‘Terawatt Era’, the photovoltaic industry should return to the main track of conversion efficiency improvement, strengthen the R&D investment of new cell materials and technologies, lay the foundation for scientific and technological innovation, commit to reducing costs and increasing benefits, improve the competitiveness of the photovoltaic industry, and promote the large-scale application of clean energy,” Li Zhenguo said.
From a technical perspective, with the application of advanced photovoltaic technology and the advances in new photovoltaic technology, the efficiency of commercial c-Si solar cell will continue to improve. “Over the next decade, the c-Si solar cell will remain the mainstream technical route for the photovoltaic industry, but to achieve a cell conversion efficiency higher than 28%, it is still necessary to deeply understand the factors that affect the photovoltaic conversion efficiency of cells and explore ways to effectively control these factors,” Li Zhenguo said.
With the continuous increase of the proportion of photovoltaic energy in the entire grid system, the intermittent and discontinuous characteristics of photovoltaic power in a certain region will bring increasing challenges to the energy system. To overcome this issue, multi-energy complementary systems with photovoltaic and other renewable energies (hydropower, wind power etc.) are being adopted.
“With the continuous cost reduction of photovoltaic energy, the PV-EC route is expected to become the cheapest method for green hydrogen production,” Li Zhenguo added, noting that the huge demand for green hydrogen in the future will create significant development opportunities for the photovoltaic industry and further reduce the cost of photovoltaic energy. In the long run, the “photovoltaic+” system, in which green hydrogen is deeply involved, will be the key to deep decarbonization and sustainable development of the entire society. Li Zhenguo said he firmly believes that “green electricity + green hydrogen” is a powerful weapon against climate change.
An international forum for photovoltaic researchers and industry experts, the World Photovoltaic Energy Conversion Conference is held every four years. It not only provides an international platform for the industry to exchange ideas, but also gives practical guidance and suggestions for the transformation and upgrade of energy and industrial structure.