World-leading solar power pioneers Oxford Perovskite reportedly believe the UK is their “least attractive” option for a new factory to produce the firm’s revolutionary new energy technology.
Already two years into test production in a plant near Berlin, the firm’s co-founder Dr Chris Chase tells the Financial Times today that the UK’s lack of incentives leads the manufacturer to rank the USA or Europe’s mainland as better homes for a base to step up production of its ultra-efficient solar panels.
The 13 year old university spin-off announced this week a record conversion efficiency for its cells, which use a microfilm of the synthesised perovskite mineral. Against standard coated silicon which convert up to 24% of light into electricity, perovskite achieved 28.6% in lab tests two years ago.
The firm’s new tandem silicon-perovskite sandwich structure pushes that to 33.2%. Its first commercial sales are set for early 2024.
Twenty per cent of upfront costs of Euro 44 million to build the firm’s existing German plant two years ago were met by Berlin’s regional government. Britain in contrast offered ‘zero incentives’ for such investment, Oxford Perovskite’s co-founder Dr Chris Chase told the FT.
“It seems to me the rest of the world is staking their future on solar and the UK is not”. Chase told the newspaper. Germany and the US were strong candidates for its next plant, he added.
OP is owned by Swiss solar developer Meyer Burger and Chinese power technologists Goldwind. Listing its shares is the next step, in what Chase told the FT would be a multi-million fund-raising round. NASDAQ in the US or Hong Kong were being considered, he said.