Who we are

Founded in 2017 as an international research joint venture, NICE Solar Energy stands for sustainable production processes in photovoltaics, backed by a total of 40 years of experience.

Shareholders of NICE Solar Energy are Manz AG, the related subsidiaries of China Energy Group (NICE), Shanghai Electric, and the Beijing Future Science Park Development Group. The venture focuses expertise, experience and innovative strength in a global leading research institution for CIGS thin-film technology and its application in daily life.

At our headquarters in Schwäbisch Hall, over 130 employees work on implementing our ambitious technology roadmap. The objective is to continuously enhance the efficiency of CIGS solar cells and thus provide maximum security of investment for relevant applications.

In addition to our existing innovation line in Schwäbisch Hall, a further line is currently under development in Peking.


The NICE Solar Energy joint venture brings together wide-ranging milestones in the development of photovoltaics in general and CIGS thin-film technology in particular.

  • All
  • IPE
  • ZSW
  • Würth Solar
  • Manz
  • CHN Energy
Basic research into thin-film PV
Groundbreaking research into CIGS solar cells
17.8 % Cell breaks European record
ZSW is founded
Pilot production of CIGS modules starts
Supporting technologies are scaled up
19.6 % Record for inline CIGS deposition cell
20.3 % World record cell
21.7 % World record cell
22.6 % World record cell
Würth Solar founded
Pilot production launched
CIGS mass production launched
15MW to 30MW
Company renamed Innoline
Manz acquires Würth Innoline
14.6 % Highest ever efficiency for thin-film module
16 % World record for CIGS module
Launch of strategic partnership with Shanghai Electric Group & Shenhua Group
Company renamed NICE Solar Energy GmbH
17,6 % World record for CIGS module

Our partners

NICE Solar Energy works closely with well-known institutions and companies on advancing basic research and developing solutions.

Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)

Located in Stuttgart, ZSW is among the world’s leading institutes of applied research into the fields of photovoltaics, renewable fuel sources, battery technology, fuel cells, and energy system analysis. ZSW has been engaged in research and development activities in the field of CIGS thin-film technology for over 30 years; together with its partners, it has brought the technology to industrial maturity.

ZSW’s researchers have repeatedly broken world records for CIGS solar cells, and hold the current record of 22.6%. Providing decades of experience in process development and characterization of CIGS thin-film solar modules, ZSW acts as development partner for the Solar division at Nice Solar Energy.

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