Bernd Sprecher, CEO, Nice Solar EnergyBernd Sprecher, CEO
NICE Solar Energy, founded in 2017 as an international research joint venture, stands for long-term photovoltaic production techniques, with a combined 40 years of experience. Manz AG, China Energy Group (NICE) affiliated businesses, Shanghai Electric, and the Beijing Future Science Park Development Group are all shareholders in NICE Solar Energy. The venture focuses expertise, experience, and innovative strength in a global leading research institution in CIGS thin-film technology and its application in everyday life.

Over 130 people work at the company’s headquarters in the Schwäbisch Hall to implement the company’s ambitious technology agenda. The goal is to continually improve the efficiency of CIGS solar cells in order to guarantee optimum investment security for relevant applications. NICE Solar Energy has boosted the efficiency of CIGS thin-film solar modules to 17.6 percent, which is a new world record. This efficiency record, which TÜV Rheinland has recently certified on a module surface size of 120 x 60 centimetres, was obtained using Manz production equipment at NICE Solar Energy’s R&D location in Schwäbisch Hall. The joint company boasts the world’s largest research and development capability for CIGS thin-film solar technology, with roughly 80 specialists in Beijing and 160 in Schwäbisch Hall.

The current world efficiency record is based on a long-term technology roadmap developed by Manz AG, a high-tech equipment manufacturer, with the help of the Stuttgart Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, in 2011. (ZSW). Since then, the CIGS thin-film technology’s efficiency has been repeatedly improved on the CIGSlab innovation line in Schwäbisch Hall, which was then owned by Manz, and the ZSW’s laboratory efficiencies have been put into practice. The partners have been able to greatly speed the future development of the CIGS technology owing to the foundation of NICE Solar Energy in April 2017 and the resulting capacity building.

In the photovoltaics industry, the company exploits CIGS technology for innovative, practical, and efficient applications. Nice Solar Energy’s CIGS thin-film solar modules are made up of a conductive layer of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium that is extremely thin. In comparison to other thin-film technologies, CIGS modules are more efficient. High-efficiency CIGS solar modules can already compete with multicrystalline solar modules in terms of efficiency. Regardless of the application, NICE CIGS modules provide numerous kilowatt hours of power. They contribute significantly to the development of environmentally friendly energy sources based on sunshine.
  • NICE Solar Energy has boosted the efficiency of CIGS thin-film solar modules to 17.6 percent, which is a new world record


Apart from high-performance CIGS modules, NICE also offers a wide range of designs, sizes, and applications (frames, mountings, etc.) to help users integrate the high-performance CIGS modules and systems seamlessly into their requirements. Building integrated photovoltaic Systems (BIPV) are another product offered by the company. BIPV is the optimum CIGS module solution for photovoltaic projects, meeting all standards and preconditions for integration into building facades and roofs.

CIGS thin-film technology continues to offer considerable potential for further efficiency advancements, even with the currently established world record efficiency of 17.6% on module size: On the cell surface, the maximum efficiency obtained so far is 23.35 percent, which is the upper limit of what is currently possible. Increases in module surface efficiency, along with more efficient manufacturing techniques, will enable the production of even more cost-effective CIGS thin-film solar modules in the future. Short energy recovery times, a good temperature coefficient for use in hot regions, and a wide range of applications for building-integrated photovoltaic applications are all advantages of the CIGS technology