Prof Eicke R. WEBER

Prof Eicke R. WEBER

Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany

Area 5: Photovoltaics Moving into the Terawatt Range

PV electricity became cost-competitive with electricity produced by oil-fired power plants, new nuclear power plants and diesel generators. Global over-production capacity for PV is coming to an end in 2016. Global PV production capacity will have to double within the next five years to 100-120 GWp/a, bringing PV installations into the Terawatt range. Therefore, a window of opportunity is opening for lucrative new investments in PV production and deployment along the whole value chain.

A key factor will be reliable technical due diligence for PV systems, to reduce investor’s risks. Moreover, rapid growth of electricity production from volatile wind and solar sources will pose new challenges for grid integration and storage technologies.

In Germany, about 35% of electricity is supplied from renewable sources, but the System Average grid Interruption Duration Index  SAIDI has been cut in half in the last 10 years, to now (2014) only 12 mins. Accommodating large amounts of fluctuating renewable energy requires to strengthen the grid, to replace manually-controlled processes by more and more automation, based on intelligent algorithms, and leave enough flexibility for unforeseen events. Any grid accommodating a high fraction of  renewables will be more resilient against fluctuations, with advantages for all users.


Professor Eicke R. Weber is Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Professor for Physics / Solar Energy at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and at the Faculty of Engineering at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Germany.

Prof. Weber studied Physics at the University of Cologne, Germany where he made his doctorate in 1976 and his habilitation in 1983. From 1983-2006 he lectured at the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the University of California, Berkeley - since 1991 as Professor of Materials Science. He was president of the Alexander von Humboldt Association of America (AvHAA) from 2001-2003. In 2006 he received the Award of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande) of the German President.

Since 2010 Prof. Weber is Member of acatech - the German Academy of Science and Engineering, Berlin. He is founding president of the German Energy Storage Association (BVES), Berlin since January 2013. In June 2013, Prof. Weber was honoured with the SolarWorld Einstein Award. In January 2014, he received the Zayed Future Energy Prize from the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates on behalf of Fraunhofer ISE. Since January 2015 he is elected president of EUREC- Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers, Brussels