Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development

MEDIA - Press office ENEA
photovoltaic and 5G mobile networks

Energy: Evidence of an interaction between 5G mobile networks and photovoltaic systems

An ENEA study presented at the 2nd International Conference on Energy, Environment and Digital Transition suggests photovoltaic systems affect 5G electromagnetic waves propagation.

 “We have found that conventional tandem solar cells can shield these waves; a positive effect as concerns the electromagnetic pollution caused by 5G antennas, but a potential negative effect on wave propagation", explained Girolamo Di Francia, head of the ENEA Laboratory for the Development of Digital Photovoltaic and Sensor Applications of the Portici Research Center (Naples).

The fifth generation technologies of telecommunication networks work by using frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum that can reach a few tens of gigahertz (GHz), but the ENEA study shows that this interaction exists even when the electromagnetic waves exceed one hundred GHz, confirming a potentially problem also for 6G, currently under development.

 “This shielding property could also be advantageously used to help homogenize the propagation of 5G electromagnetic waves which, by their nature, are greatly affected by physical objects encountered along the direction of propagation,” said Di Francia.

Careful planning of the development of the two sectors can on the one hand help facilitate the acceptance of 5G (and then 6G) and on the other promote the diffusion of residential rooftop photovoltaic, which today covers less than 10% of the suitable areas in our Country.

 “In anticipation of an increase in residential rooftop photovoltaic systems, further studies should be conducted to identify the ways in which photovoltaics and mobile transmission interact and define how the two can work to support each other. A systematic and programmatic study is needed to encourage the adoption of standards and guidelines to protect citizens in the perspective of increasingly powerful antennas, installed by telephone operators to improve transmission and meet consumer demands", concluded Di Francia.

For more information please contact:

Girolamo Di Francia, ENEA - Development of Digital Photovoltaic and Sensor Applications Laboratory,