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UG contributes to circular Dutch solar panels

09 February 2024
Prof. Maria Loi
Prof. Maria Loi

As partner in the Dutch SolarNL, the UG is contributing to the development of the next generation of fully circular solar panels. Professor Maria Antonietta Loi of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials will work with her research team on an improved technology for making solar cells. Thursday 8 October marked the kick-off of the programme that is supported by a grant from the National Growth Fund (Nationaal Groeifonds).

The SolarNL programme is run by nine Dutch solar technology companies, in collaboration with research institutes, universities and colleges. The programme aims to build a strong industry for sustainable solar cells and solar panels in the Netherlands. Loi will receive EUR 5.5 million for her research. The Groningen team is composed by Prof. Portale, Prof. Koster, Dr. Protesescu, Prof. Kamperman and Dr. Maniar.

Solar panels from Dutch soil

SolarNL will build production facilities at several locations in the Netherlands to make innovative solar cells and solar panels on a large scale. There will be collaboration with the entire chain: from suppliers of the starting materials to the construction and automotive companies that will use integrated solar panels on a large scale. The four affiliated colleges are developing a programme to fill the 2,000 new jobs that will be created. SolarNL is also cooperating with other EU countries to jointly boost a Dutch and European manufacturing industry for solar panels.

The Netherlands as knowledge country solar products

The SolarNL programme is cashing in on the vast knowledge the Netherlands has to develop a new generation of solar cells and panels to accelerate the energy transition. The solar products to be developed are fully circular, have very low CO2 emissions and can be integrated in facades or car roofs, for instance. Because several layers of solar cells are processed on top of each other in a solar panel, less space is needed, so solar energy can be applied on a larger scale in the Netherlands.


During the kick-off in the HyET Solar factory halls in Arnhem, the mutual cooperation was consolidated and several SolarNL partners already presented the first results. Representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the EU and regional development companies presented policy visions with which they support the national and European solar industry.

SolarNL partners and guests in the HyET Solar factory hallsin in Arnhem
SolarNL partners and guests in the HyET Solar factory hallsin in Arnhem

National Growth Fund

Through the National Growth Fund, the government will invest 20 billion euros in projects that ensure long-term economic growth from 2021 to 2025. Among other things, the National Growth Fund invests in research, development and innovation projects. UG's Faculty of Science and Engineering is involved in 15 of these projects.

Last modified:13 February 2024 12.53 p.m.
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