Wim Sinke (1955) is Manager Program Development at ECN Solar Energy in Petten, The Netherlands, part-time professor Photovoltaic Energy Conversion at the University of Amsterdam and board member of the TKI Urban Energy (the Netherlands public-private partnership for energy innovation in the urban environment, including solar energy). He is also visiting scientist at research institute AMOLF in Amsterdam and co-chairman of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV).
Wim Sinke studied experimental physics at Utrecht University, where he graduated in 1981. He did PhD research at AMOLF and received a doctor’s degree from Utrecht University in 1985 for a thesis entitled “New physical processes for silicon solar cells”. From 1986 to 1987 he was a visiting scientist at the Hitachi Central Research Laboratory in Tokyo, where he worked on thin-film silicon. In 1987 he re-joined AMOLF to work on crystalline silicon solar cells, material properties of amorphous silicon, and ion and laser processing of semiconductors. In 1990 he moved to the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands ECN to set up a new group on photovoltaics (PV). This group has grown to a size of 80 staff and covers a range of topics, including wafer-based silicon and thin-film solar cells and modules, environmental and economic analyses of PV, and PV applications.
Wim Sinke has been, and still is member of a number of national and international advisory committees in the field of solar energy, renewable energy and related topics. He has published hundreds of scientific and popular papers on all aspects of solar energy.
Wim Sinke has received several prestigious awards, including the Royal Dutch/Shell Prize for Sustainability and Energy in 1999 and the European Becquerel Prize for outstanding merits in photovoltaics in 2011. In 2015 he was appointed a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for his contributions to the development and promotion of solar energy.
Title and Abstract of the Speech:
Photovoltaics towards global impact
Wim C. Sinke
ECN Solar Energy, University of Amsterdam and AMOLF, Netherlands
Photovoltaic solar energy (PV) has demonstrated spectacular cost reduction and performance enhancement over the past decades. Cumulative global installations are expected to reach the terawatt level soon after 2020. This success even causes some people to believe that PV is fully mature and can do without further ambitious innovation programs. However, PV is rather just at the beginning of its life. For big global impact, deployment needs to increase by almost two orders of magnitude and this has to be done as soon as possible. System and generation costs need to, ánd can be decreased substantially further to allow for large-scale conversion of power to heat and to fuels (P2X). Typical performance levels can be at least doubled, thereby aiding to cost reduction and enhancing installation potential when area is limited or expensive. Moreover, PV has to develop from a “one size fits all” technology to a technology toolbox that offers an attractive and affordable solution for a wide variety of applications. Last but not least, the sustainability profile of PV has to be improved further, a.o. by implementing design-for-sustainability concepts. This presentation will give an overview of the impressive achievements, the main drivers for further development and the technical and socio-economic challenges of PV.