Society has long confronted the problem of generating electricity with minimal impacts on the environment.

With global demand for power exceeding 575 quadrillion British thermal units in 2017, finding a solution to this problem is especially important. QESST is capitalizing on one of the greatest scientific advances of the 20th century, quantum mechanics, to develop photovoltaics (PV) and advanced energy converters that will:

  • Revolutionize electricity generation;
  • Renew interest in science and engineering; and
  • Revitalize the U.S. PV industry, allowing it to dominate the expected trillion-dollar PV market.

The interdisciplinary team consisting of multiple universities, world-renowned energy companies, leaders in PV and a blend of entrepreneurs form a strategic partnership to generate innovative solutions to sustainable electricity generation.

The Impact of QESST

For the past decade, the PV industry has expanded at an average compound annual growth rate of nearly 40 percent. At this growth rate, the PV industry can satisfy the all-new global demand for electricity in the next 10 years. Sustaining such growth rates is an enormous challenge—but one that has been met by other semiconductor industries. The goal of the QESST ERC is to develop a technology path for photovoltaics that will enable rapid growth by allowing existing commercial photovoltaic technologies to circumvent trade-offs in performance and cost. Alternatively stated, our goal is to enable commercial photovoltaics to exceed all goals formerly envisioned.