Seventy five solar energy research projects totaling €24 million were undertaken by Irish universities during the 2004-2010 period. Despite the relatively low priority given to solar in Ireland's energy policy, there are significant research strengths in this area.
|Solar thermal||Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)|
The DIT Dublin Energy Lab and DCU have projects covering solar thermal testing and characterisation and heat transfer mechanisms. Other developments include integration of solar slates with heating systems.
In 2010 UL's Stokes Institute won a significant FP7 project, MOLESOL, in partnership with a local SME - R&R Mechanical - and other European partners for work on concentrating solar thermal electricity generating plants. This project fits very well with the EU SET plan initiatives on CSP.
|Solar photovoltaic (PV)||EU SET Plan|
This area has attracted over €14 million in funding during the period. Significant funding through the SFI Strategic Research Cluster programme was given to the Biomimetics cluster for Solar Energy Conversion (SEC), which includes industry and academics in UCD, UL and DCU. Its research seeks to develop new materials and to synthesize devices that mimic the steps involved in natural photosynthesis.
Researchers at the Dublin Energy Lab at Dublin Institute of Technology are researching concentrating solar PV methods as well as organic PV. Other institutes such as DIT, WIT, Tralee IT and Tyndall have carried out a variety of projects in solar photovoltaic technology.
Solar Energy is one of the Strategic Energy Technologies identified by the EU commission. A European Industry Initiative (EII) for Solar Energy was launched in 2010 and a set of technology roadmaps have been developed.
|Key Irish Research Institutions|
|Key Irish Research Clusters||Key Irish Industry:|
SFI Solar Energy Conversion Cluster: it is the mission of this Cluster to develop new materials and synthesise devices that mimic individually and as a whole the steps involved in natural photosynthesis.
Solarprint is a leader in the commercialisation of the next generation in light conversion technologies. Solarprint's technology is changing the way in which solar photovoltaics can be used.
|European / International Research maps:||Open FP7 Calls|
Set Plan setis.ec.europa.eu
IEA Task 35 www.iea-shc.org/task35/index.html
2012 FP7 Calls