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Greg Barker opens new lab for Oxford PV

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Greg Barker is shown a sample of glass with OPV’s energy-generating coating by founder Kevin Arthur and chief scientific officer Dr Henry Snaith

Climate change minister Greg Barker visited Oxford Photovoltaics’ HQ at Begbroke Science Park earlier this week to launch the new fabrication and test facilities.

On his visit, Mr Barker was told how the firm’s energy-generating coating for glass will be able to be integrated into buildings themselves. Oxford PV, a spin out from Oxford University, has pioneered the development of perovskite thin-film solar cells, which can be printed directly onto glass to produce a semi-transparent layer.

By employing a simple manufacturing process focussed on inexpensive and abundant raw materials, the company says it has developed a cost-effective technology that it will license to glass manufacturers and processors.

Oxford PV’s founder and ceo Kevin Arthur, said: “We were delighted to welcome the minister to officially open our new facility. We have grown rapidly over the last two years, from an employee count of just one to our current level of fourteen staff. Our new lab and testing area will support our further growth and we expect to add another ten employees in 2014. On top of this, we sponsor three PhD students from the University of Oxford whose research will help us develop more products for the future.

“Our facilities are fully equipped and entirely self-contained, dedicated to the research and production of our solar technology. Oxford PV is collaborating with manufacturers and specialist consultants locally and across the country helping us to accelerate the transfer of the technology into production. This is fantastic example of Britain leading the world in translating ground-breaking research into real products and processes that will contribute positively to the future of the planet.”

Climate change minister, Greg Barker, added: “Solar PV has an important part to play in our energy mix so it’s great to see British businesses rising to the challenge and showcasing what Britain has to offer.

“Oxford Photovoltaics’ new research and testing facility is putting the UK at the forefront of the international market for solar, providing state of the art resources to test a pioneering approach to harnessing the power of the sun and putting us in pole position to compete in the global race for jobs and growth.”