1. Most relevant PV funding topics
Since 2013, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) has been preparing bi-annual lists of “Priority Themes for RDI Support Programmes” which are comprised of priority technologies, details on the expected methodology and outcomes, as well as impacts. Studies on “TUBITAK 2020-2021 Priority RDI Themes” were carried out in 3 main pillars: mapping of national needs via semantic analysis of national strategies and plans, mapping of global technological trends and determination of current competencies via an analysis on the previously supported RDI projects. The priority RDI themes for 2020-2021 are published via the website of TUBITAK and presented in the call texts of support programmes.
In this context, in energy sector, “High Efficiency Solar Technologies” has been determined as one of the top priority sub-tech areas for RDI activities. TUBITAK has been providing some privileges (such as additional support etc.) to the RDI project proposals within her evaluation phases if the proposal is concerned at least one of these determined RDI Priority Areas.
The RDI priorities highlighted in “new Implementation Plan (IP)” by the EC and Study on “RDI Priority Areas” conducted by TUBITAK highly correspond to one another.
Priority RDI themes of 2020-2021 on “High Efficiency Solar Technologies”, which are focused on RDI projects dedicated to make significant progress in high-efficiency and low-cost solar energy technologies with Technological Readiness Level between 2-8, have been:
(1) Crystal Si solar cells
(1a) New generation high efficiency crystalline Si solar cells (HIT: Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer; PERC: Passivated Emitter Rear Cell; PERT: Passivated Emitter Rear Totally Diffused; IBC: Interdigitated Back Contact Solar Cells; Bifacial type) cells;
(1b) Technologies required for the production of low-cost crystalline Si cells: Upgraded Metallurgical-Grade (UMG) Silicon; High Performance Multicrystalline (HPmc); Fine Si;
(1c) Tandem solar cells: Perovskite/Si, other thinfilm/Si tandem systems;
(2) Thin film systems
(2a) CdTe, CIGS, and a-Si thin film systems (CdTe: Cadmium Telluride; CIGS: Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide; a-Si thin film solar cells)
(2b) DSSC solar cells
(2c) Perovskite solar cells
(2d) Organic solar cells
(2e) Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide (CZTS)
(2f) Thin-film III-V epitaxial PV cells
(3) Concentrated photovoltaic technologies
(4) Silicon material technologies (Si purification, ingot growth and ingot slicing)
(5) Module technologies and module components (glass, encapsulant, wire/ribbon, etc., rear-connected module, glass-to-glass module, multi-wire and hybrid systems utilizing the resulting heat)
(6) Basic research topics for solar cells: up-down conversion, light trapping, photonics, plasmonic and nanotechnology;
(7) Artificial leaf technologies (conversion of solar energy into fuel and/or useful chemicals).
Project proposals are prioritized during the evaluation stage of support programmes, if they serve at least one of the priority themes included in the TUBITAK 2020-2021 Priority RDI Themes and if the projects are planned to conduct RDI studies within the TRL range of the priority theme. The projects which serve to the objectives of priority RDI themes are supported via TUBITAK 1001 - Scientific and Technological Research Projects Support Program, TUBITAK 1501 - Industry RDI Projects Support Program, TUBITAK 1507 - Initial R&D Support Program for SMEs and TUBITAK 1602 - Patent Support Program. Moreover, the identified priority technologies and applications are also included and supported through the calls of the “Technology-Oriented Industry Move” within the scope of the National Technology Move by the Ministry of Industry and Technology.
Considering the upcoming years, Technology Roadmaps are recently prepared in AI, Advanced Materials, Big Data and Cloud Computing, Cyber Security and Motor Technologies. The scientific/technological objectives, critical products and priority sectoral applications in these areas are determined with a methodology including open ended suggestion forms, delfi analysis and expert focus groups.
The very recent priority topics on «materials for renewable energy technologies» regarding developing innovative materials and production processes for energy production and storage are determined in detail in the “Advanced Materials Technology Roadmap”; which may be summarized under 3 main sub-topics of «Materials for Renewable Energy Technologies» and will be focused on RDI projects dedicated to make significant progress in high-efficiency and low-cost solar energy technologies with Technological Readiness Level between 5-9:
• Solar cells (cells) and panels (modules) based on Crystal Si (crystalline silicon)
• Thin film solar cells and modules
• Photovoltaic solar cells (PV-T)
The determined objectives, products and sectoral applications within this context will be the basis for RDI Priority Themes of TUBITAK in 2022-2023 and beyond.