ERG Renew and Permasteelisa have announced that they will enter into the next-generation photovoltaic panels sector through their participation in a technological research and development project for the production of non-silicon based solar panels.

The objective is to develop over the next four years so-called organic photovoltaic cells and to start-up an industrial production line of DSSC (Dye Sensitized Solar Cells) panels. This technology utilizes light-sensitive organic pigments and nanotechnology to generate electricity.

The universities of Rome Tor Vergata, Ferrara and Turin will be research partners in the project. The Australian company, Dyesol, will also be involved through its subsidiary, Dyesol Italia.

Following the research phase, ERG Renew and Permasteelisa will commence the exclusive production and marketing of these next-generation panels; which based on cost, efficiency and duration are expected to be more competitive than traditional silicon technology.

The total investment in the project is reported to be over E10 million, in which ERG Renew and Permasteelisa will contribute approximately E2.5 million each; while Dyesol will contribute approximately E1.5 million.

The project also intends to avail of the Industria 2015 program which provides state financing for research projects aimed at energy efficiency through the use of new technologies.