The potential of solar power worldwide, with particular reference to photovoltaic (PV) energy, is huge: according to the EPIA (European Photovoltaic Industry Association) the photovoltaic sector has been growing at an average rate of 35% in the last ten years.
Enel Green Power intends to play a leading role in this market, too.
Moreover, this activity also includes a plant for the manufacturing of innovative 3SUN photovoltaic panels through a joint venture between Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics. It is the largest PV panel production plant at national level, and one of the largest in Europe. The plant will initially produce multi-junction thin film solar panels for 160 MW per year, employing about 280 people. The objective of the plant is to meet the market’s demand for solar energy in Europe, the Middle Ease and Africa (EMEA), using both ongoing production and the sales networks of Sharp and Enel Green Power. To this end, Enel Green Power and Sharp have established a new joint venture, ESSE (Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy) to develop, build and manage photovoltaic plants for over 500 MW in the EMEA region, by 2016, using the panels manufactured in the plant.
As for the most advanced innovations in the photovoltaic technology, we are committed to conducting continuous studies on the advantages of the different options available, such as, for example, semi-conductors as an alternative to silicon to achieve higher performances and concentrators with heat recovery systems.
Worth mentioning in the field of cutting-edge technology is the testing activity conducted on concentrating solar power (CSP), which Enel has launched through the Archimede project developed at the plant at Priolo Gargallo (Siracusa, Sicily). It is the first world-wide application of an integrated solar combined cycle power based on a highly innovative technology developed by the Enea Institute.