Saint-Gobain, Royal Dutch Shell to develop glass-film solar panels

Saint-Gobain SA said it has formed a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to develop a new technology of solar panels consisting of thin films of copper indium selenide (CIS) on glass, instead of traditional silicon wafers.

Shell has been developing the CIS technology over the past four years, and Saint-Gobain will contribute its experience with film deposits on glass, acquired from years of operating in the automobile and building markets.

Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

'This partnership will strengthen Saint-Gobain's competitive advantages in its technical business through innovation, which is consistent with the group strategy of increasing its research and development effort in the high performance materials and flat glass sectors,' the company said.

Shell previously announced this morning that as part of its focus on CIS technology, it has sold its silicon solar panels activities to Germany's SolarWorld AG.

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