Energy and Environment

Major boost to solar cell technology research

On February 4th, the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) received funding for the establishment of a Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research (CEER) from the Research Council of Norway. The title of the Centre is "The Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology".

Holt, Arve

Research Director

Marstein, Erik Stensrud

Deputy Head of Department

Wikstrøm jr., Viktor A.

Communication Adviser


The Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen announced the decisions regarding the CEERs during the “Energy week” in Oslo. IFE is also central in two other CEERs; the Research Centre for Offshore Wind Technology and Subsurface CO2 storage -Critical Elements and Superior Strategy (SUCCESS). In total, eight Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research were appointed.

IFE is host institution for the CEER named ”The Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology”. The centre brings together the leading solar cell research community and the major solar cell companies in Norway. The collaborating parties are NTNU, SINTEF, University of Oslo, Elkem Solar, Fesil Sunergy, Hydro, Norsun, Prediktor, REC, Scatec, Solar Cell Repower and Umoe Solar.

The Centre’s total budget is about 375 MNOK distributed over the Centre’s eight planned years of duration. Erik Stensrud Marstein from IFE’s Solar Energy Department is Centre Manager.
Stab i Sollab. Foto: C. Skaarberg
The main goal is to provide current and future actors in the Norwegian solar cell industry access to state-of-the-art technological and scientific expertise. In this way, the Centre will contribute to maintain the leading position of the Norwegian solar cell industry in the international solar cell market, as well pave the way for this industry to grow into one of the most important on-shore industries nationally. Collectively, the Centre’s members are in world class within production and characterisation of crystalline silicon, the most important material for production of solar cells. This is also the case for modelling, characterisation and synthesis of new materials and solar cell process technology. This competence has been built over years through research projects the centre partners have been engaged in.

In order to meet the industry and the research community’s need for recruitment, 23 doctorates and 21 post docs will be trained through the Centre, and a national researcher school for solar cell technology will be established.

In the photo are IFE’s solar cell researchers, looking forward to welcoming new colleagues.

The following research topics will be addressed in the Centre:

  • Crystalline silicon materials for solar cell use
    New modelling tools for crystalline silicon
  • Solar cells and panel technology
  • New materials for next generation solar cells
  • New, advanced characterisation methods


Solcellelab 4. feb 2009. Foto: C. Skaarberg

An engaged Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Riis-Johansen, was impressed by what he saw and heard when he visited IFE’s solar cell researchers immediately after the announcement of the eight Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research. In the photo from left: Principal Scientist Dag Mortensen, IFE. Political Advisor in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Sigrid Hjørnegård. Researcher Birger Retterstøl Olaisen, IFE. Doctorate Research Fellow Jo Gjessing, IFE. Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen.


For more information see
The Research Council of Norway