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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2013 Jul 1;371(1996):20120391. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2012.0391. Print 2013 Aug 13.

Realizing solar power's potential in the European Union.

Author information

  • 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra(VA), Italy. giovanni.de-santi@ec.europa.eu


The European Union aims at largely decarbonizing its energy system by 2050. In this context, this paper reviews the status of the solar electricity technologies that can exploit our largest renewable energy resource. Although substantial progress is being made, the possibility, for instance, to more than double the efficiency of photovoltaic systems underlines the continued need for coordinated R&D efforts, aimed also at promoting European expertise and industrial competiveness. In parallel, it is important to expand the market by developing integrated building products and by demonstrating the viability of very large scale systems for both technologies.


concentrated solar thermal; photovoltaic; renewable energy

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