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Key Challenges to Growth of Solar PV

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Solar PV has great future potential. Perhaps by 2030, solar PV will rule. But 2030 is a far distance away. Until then, how can the world overcome the key bottlenecks presented by solar PV based power generation?

Here is a post from EAI that discusses this, especially in the context of India.

In a way, as the blog post also discusses, it is always a chicken-egg story; if solar PV is used on massive scales, costs will come down significantly and for solar PV to be used on large scales, it needs lower costs. Rather than trying to figuring out which comes first, I think we should probably start doing both - through a mix of government incentives and private initiatives.

What do you think?

post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

EPIA (European PV Association) predicts that the cost of solar PV panels will decrease at an annualised 9% from now until 2020. That's really sweet news to hear.

There are however quite a few industry folks who think that the cost reduction trend will plateau down quite fast and one should not expect dramatic reductions from now on. But there are others who feel - like EPIA - that the solar panel cost reductions will continute quite as in the past:

"However, there are reasons to be optimistic about cost reductions (US$/Wp) of PV modules:

* Until now, crystalline silicon modules using electronics grade silicon scraps as feedstock have dominated the world PV market. Their manufacturing processes derive from the electronics industry and are not optimized for PV module production.
* Significant cost reductions will be achieved as soon as dedicated production facilities for solar-grade silicon are justified by demand.
* Even sharper module cost reductions can be expected in the case of thin film PV cells, irrespective of the basic semiconductor employed (amorphous silicon, CdTe, CIS, or others). First, this is due to the use of a much smaller amount of semiconductor material and to much lower energy consumption rates. Secondly, thin-film manufacturing techniques (direct deposition) allow the direct manufacturing of 1,000 cm2 integrated solar modules (i.e. a-St) and are particularly well suited for mass production.
"
All these point to a future in which solar PV cells are going to be available at a fraction of the costs at which they are available today. At this rate of cost reductions, solar PV could reach grid parity by 2017 or so, in many parts of the world. What do you think?

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