Dutch energy company Nuon is to acquire Akzo Nobel's innovative solar cell technology. Nuon says its objective in taking over this venture is to achieve a breakthrough in the field of solar energy.

The new technology aims to make solar energy more affordable for a large number of customers and a good alternative for electricity from fossil fuels. Akzo Nobel’s solar cell concept – also known as Helianthos – is a research and development venture that aims to pave the way for the mass production of solar cell foil.

This flexible material contains ultra-thin active layers (30 to 50 times thinner than a human hair) which convert light into electricity. Because of its light weight the foil can be applied on large surfaces, such as roofs, without the need to make building structures heavier.

It is also possible to apply the foil to curved surfaces and mobile objects such as vehicles and textile. This will mean a substantial rise in the use of solar energy, so the proportion of solar energy in the total energy mix will grow significantly.

Management board member Peter Erich, responsible for the Netherlands distribution and sales segment, sees the takeover as a confirmation of Nuon’s ambition to make energy supply more sustainable.

Helianthos is a promising venture that can enable households and businesses to generate a substantial amount of their own electricity requirements in a sustainable manner. Our experience in the field of sustainable energy, our knowledge of the energy market and our large number of customers puts us in an excellent position to carry this technology forward to the next phase and to introduce it among our customers, he said.

Akzo Nobel and Nuon expect to complete the transaction this month. No financial details of the takeover are being released.