Solar concentration, solar resource utilization, and sustainability

Harry Apostoleris, Matteo Chiesa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


With mass production of solar panels and industrial learning bringing the cost of solar electricity below 2¢/kWh in many parts of the world, the question is increasingly asked: what research is left to do in solar energy? Cheap photovoltaics with large-scale battery storage on the horizon, so the argument goes, are about to solve all of our energy problems, so why should we bother ourselves with anything else? The invisible hand of the market is now in control, and will guide us to a sustainable solar future. This manuscript seeks to cast a bit of doubt onto this looming consensus and argue that there is still work to be done in ensuring a maximally sustainable solar future. Drawing on ongoing projects on building-integrated photovoltaics, agricultural photovoltatics, and photovoltaic-thermal systems, we will demonstrate how the emerging PV paradigm falls short of its greenest possible form, and illustrate potential technological solutions based on solar concentration to more fully realize this potential.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationNonimaging Optics
Subtitle of host publicationEfficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration XVII
EditorsRoland Winston, Eli Yablonovitch
ISBN (Electronic)9781510637962
StatePublished - 2020
EventNonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration XVII 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 24 Aug 20204 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceNonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration XVII 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Agricultural photovoltaics
  • Building integrated PV
  • Concentrator photovoltaics
  • Hybrid solar collectors
  • PV-thermal
  • Solar concentration
  • Sustainability


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