Sri Lanka will be soon producing thin-film solar cells on a commercial basis with technological cooperation from China as a means of popularising the use of solar panels for domestic power generation, Science, Technology and Research Minister Susil Premajayantha said.
He said a number of young technicians were being trained on ‘Modern Solar Power Technology’ at the Colombo, Ruhuna, Jaffna and Kelaniya universities.
"I paid a visit to China last week with some Sri Lankan scientists to obtain first hand experience on solar power technology. The Chinese government is helping us to develop solar power technology in Sri Lanka. I hope we will be in a position to drastically reduce the use of costly thermal power generation which is also an environment pollutant,” the minister said.
He said producing it locally on a mass scale would help the government’s plan to phase out coal and thermal power generation and increase solar power generation to 800 MWs by 2030.
Thin-film technology has been cheaper but less efficient than conventional c-Si technology. However, its quality standards have significantly improved over the years. The lab cell efficiency for CdTe and CIGS is now beyond 21%, out-performing multi-crystalline silicon, the dominant material currently used in many solar crystalline systems. (Sandun A Jayasekera)