Invited key-note lecture at the Annual Meeting of the "Society Vacuum Coaters" in Chicago, April 18th, 2011
Paper published in proceedings of PVSEC 2009 in Hamburg
Decades of research have demonstrated how several industries related to PV solar – semiconductors and flat panel displays, among others – have generated steady and predictable declines in the “price experience curve” (PEC) and Price Experience Factor (PEF). This paper analyzes factors that apply to PV solar in order to project expected cost and price declines from the present towards 2020. Thin film technology offers a somewhat greater potential decline of module cost and price compared to crystalline silicon technology, due to its technological similarity to flat panel displays and the cost-cutting potential of large-area substrates. However, the higher efficiency of c-Si PV modules may offset that advantage when overall system cost and price is considered. Ultimately, the decline for both cost curves should prove to be quite significant and therefore enable increased and widespread adoption of PV technology for a variety of applications.