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The IEA provides support for international collaboration on energy technology R&D, deployment and information dissemination. These groups function within a framework created by the IEA - the International Framework for International Energy Technology Collaboration. The views, findings and publications of these international groups (formally called Implementing Agreements) do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or of all its individual member countries. OECD Member countries, autonomous OECD non-member countries, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and private sector entities may participate. For more information, see our Technology Agreements page.

Photovoltaic Power Systems

Since its establishment in 1993, the Agreement has been conducting a variety of joint projects in the application of photovoltaic conversion of solar energy into electricity.   Working on both technical and non-technical issues, the Agreement undertakes key collaborative projects related to technology and performance assessment, cost reduction, best practice in various applications, rapid deployment of photovoltaic systems, and key issues such as grid integration and environmental aspects.   

Signatories : Australia | Austria | Belgium | Canada | China | Denmark | France | Germany | Israel | Italy | Italy | Japan | Korea, Republic of | Malaysia | Mexico | Netherlands | Norway | Portugal | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey | United Kingdom | United States | Commission of the European Union | European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) | Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) | The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) |
For more information: http://www.iea-pvps.org

Current Projects (Annexes)

Task 01. Strategic PV Analysis & Outreach (formerly: Exchange & Dissemination of Information on PVPS Systems)
Facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information on the technical, economic and environmental aspects of PV power systems


Task 08. Study on Very Large Scale Photovoltaics Power Generation Systems
Examine and evaluate the potential of very large scale PV power generation systems, by identifying key system feasibility factors and clarifying benefits to neighbouring regions


Task 09. Photovoltaic Services for Developing Countries
Increase the rate of successful deployment of PV systems in developing countries, through increased co-operation and information exchange between bilateral and multilateral donors and the PVPS Programme.
Enhance the opportunities for wide-scale, solution-oriented application of PV in the urban environment as part of an integrated approach that maximizes building energy efficiency and solar thermal and photovoltaics usage.


Task 11. PV Hybrid Systems within Mini-Grids
The scope of this Annex is PV based hybrid generators that combine PV with other electricity generators and also energy storage systems. A particular focus will be on mini-grid systems in which energy generators, storage systems and loads are interconnected by a “stand-alone” AC distribution network with relatively small rated power and limited geographical area. The mini-grid concept has potential applications that range from village electrification in less developed areas to “power parks” that offer ultra-reliable, high quality electrical power to high tech industrial customers. These systems can be complex, combining multiple energy sources, multiple electricity consumers, and operation in both island (stand-alone) and utility grid connected modes. The main goal of this Annex is to promote PV technology as a technically relevant and competitive energy source in mini-grids. It aims to enhance the knowledge-base of PV hybrid mini-grids and reduce barriers to market penetration of these systems.


Task 12. Environmental Health and Safety Issues of PV
Task 12 Goals and Objectives: The goal of Task 12 is to facilitate a common understanding of EH&S issues among the various country members and disseminate the Task’s knowledge and understanding to the stakeholders, as well as to the energy and environmental policy decision makers. Task 12’s overall objectives are to: Quantify the environmental profile of PV in comparison to other energy technologies; and to define and address EH&S and sustainability issues that are important for market growth. Task Organisation: Task 12’s four subtasks are: 1. Recycling of manufacturing waste and spent modules; 2. Life cycle assessment; 3. EH&S in Manufacturing Facilities; 4. EHS Information Dissemination. Participation: Current participating PVPS members include: Austria, EPIA, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. The Task OAs still await participating members National Participation Plans.


Task 13. Performance and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems
The overall objective of Task 13 is to improve the operation and reliability and, thus, to draw substantial conclusions on the reliability and yield of PV systems and subsystems. The results shall be based on the collection of long-time operational data for the whole range of PV systems and for different international locations. Simulations and the collection of existing information on the qualification of PV components will help to assess on the quality of the PV systems. The results gathered within these activities will be disseminated via various communication channels and discussed among different market actors. Task 13 will focus on: • Providing reliable statistical data for any kind of decision makers for different PV applications and system locations and climates. • Technical issues such as adapting test methods and life time assessment of PV modules, comparing the long-term behaviour of systems and components, as well as performance analysis and optimisation of PV systems. The ExCo members of further interested countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, EPIA, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Belgium) are asked to identify the experts for Task 13 and to complete the Notice of Participation of a Contracting Party in Task 13


Task 14. High Penetration of PV Systems in Electricity Grids
The main goal of Task 14 is to promote the use of grid connected PV as an important source in electric power systems on a high penetration level where additional efforts may be necessary to integrate the dispersed generators in an optimum manner. The aim of these efforts is to reduce the technical barriers to achieving high penetration levels of distributed renewable systems on the electric power system. Due to the fact that a number of distribution system integration-related issues are emerging first for PV systems, Task 14 will focus on working with utilities, industry, and other stakeholders to develop the technologies and methods enabling the widespread deployment of distributed PV technologies into the electricity grids. The objectives of this new task are • to develop and verify mainly technical requirements for PV systems and electric power systems to allow for high penetrations of PV systems interconnected with the grid • to discuss the active role of PV systems related to energy management and system control of electricity grids Task 14 will address mainly technical issues to high penetration of PV in electricity networks. Technical issues include energy management aspects, grid interaction and penetration related aspects related to local distribution grids and central PV generation scenarios.