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In September 2021, the 4.5-year third-party funded project “speedCIGS” came to a successful end with a final event. As part of the BMWi-funded project, a consortium with partners from research and industry achieved significant successes in the manufacturing process of CIGS solar modules. Among other things, the CIGS process was accelerated, which was accompanied by a significant reduction in production costs and relief from the tense market situation in this area.
Background & goal – at the beginning of the project (2016)
A consortium with partners from research and industry was able to acquire a project tendered by the BMWi. The set goal of the project was to accelerate the manufacturing process of CIGS solar modules in order to be able to produce more modules per time unit at the same investment costs. This in turn makes the production of CIGS solar modules significantly cheaper. The background of the pursued goal was to relieve the tense market situation within the German photovoltaic manufacturers.
Completion of the project
Today, around 4.5 years after the start of the speedCIGS project funded by the Ministry of Economics, those involved can look back on a successful project; with pleasing results. Thanks to the project, significant progress has been made in CIGS technology.
The successes of the project
– An acceleration of the CIGS process was achieved, which significantly reduced production costs.
– The understanding of the formation of so-called “foreign phases”, changes in the crystal structure of the CIGS absorber visible under the electron microscope, was improved.
– The project set two world records related to the efficiency of CIGS tandem cells.
Due to the pandemic, the final meeting was held virtually. In addition to the project partners, two representatives of the Ministry of Economics, Dr. Brockmann and Dr. Altemhöfer, were also present. As a “supporting program” of the event, a presentation by Prof. Dr. M. Haag was very well received. He reported on the organization of the Wilhelm Büchner Hochschule and was able to emphasize the important organizational differences to presence universities.
Afterwards, a “virtual get together” took place. As a replacement for the originally planned joint dinner. In a virtual environment, it was now possible to talk to individual project partners and – sitting at the bar, as it were – to drink a glass of wine together. This gave the participants the opportunity to look back on the project and the successful past years in a relaxed environment. Prof. Dr. J. Windeln, head of this research project, raised his glass on this occasion and reviewed the entire project in a speech.
Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches: New head of communications
At the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water e.V. (DVGW), Tilman Wilhelm (46) will be the new head of regulatory policy, press and public relations . Wilhelm comes from the National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH), a program company that coordinates funding programs and networking activities for federal ministries in the field of sustainable mobility.
“With Tilman Wilhelm, a proven hydrogen and mobility expert with the best political networking in Berlin and at the EU level is taking over communications responsibility at DVGW. We are very pleased to have him on board as a new colleague in the near future. Mobility, industry and the heating sector – the energy transition will lead to far-reaching changes that the DVGW wants to actively shape with its members. On the water side, the communication challenges regarding the Drinking Water Ordinance this year open up great opportunities that we want to take advantage of together.”
– Prof. Dr. Gerald Linke, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Tilman Wilhelm is currently still employed as Head of Communications and Municipal Networks at NOW Gmbh, for which he has been working since 2008. From 2006 to 2008, he was a consultant for environmental, energy and transport policy at the EU office of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts in Brussels. Wilhelm holds master’s degrees in political science and international and European politics from Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg and the University of Edinburgh, respectively, as well as a part-time degree in technology and innovation management from RWTH Aachen University.
“The pace at which we are developing our energy supply and driving the integration of renewables in all sectors will continue to pick up. The coming years hold major legislative and communication challenges. The DVGW has a central position in this process of change. It will be important to bundle interests and make them visible, to work out commonalities of all stakeholders in a goal-oriented and balancing way, and to repeatedly campaign for broad social acceptance. The goal: an energy system that is ecologically renewable and economically successful. I am very much looking forward to working on this task in the future,” says Wilhelm.
On April 1, Wilhelm will succeed Dr. Dennis Rendschmidt, who left the association last year. He will report to the Chairman of the Executive Board, Prof. Dr. Gerald Linke.
Large investment from manufacturer from the pharmaceutical industry,
The manufacturer of primary packaging materials made of tubular glass for the pharmaceutical industry “Müller + Müller” is investing EUR 15 million in its vial production at the Holzminden site. DWK Life Sciences has already taken over the traditional family-owned company in 2020 and thus completed a strategically important step to expand its activities in the market for pharmaceutical packaging. In addition to the investment in new production and storage capacities in Holzminden, new jobs will also be created in the long term. The company is thus sending a clear signal of its strategic orientation in a significant growth market.
“Construction work on the new production hall and the expansion of the storage areas is scheduled to begin this year. The investment is intended to respond to the development in the market for pharmaceutical packaging and create up to 50 additional production jobs in the long term.”
– Florian Müller-Stauch, Managing Director
The investment includes up to 14 new production lines at the highest technical level as well as a corresponding clean room. Construction of the hall is scheduled to be completed as early as the beginning of next year, after which the interior work will follow. In order to keep the entire added value in the region, several companies were commissioned for the construction project at the same time, which come from the Holzminden area and southern Lower Saxony.