Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 3, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Crystalline silicon photovoltaics: a cost analysis framework for determining technology pathways to reach baseload electricity costs

Author affiliations

Abstract

Crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaics are robust, manufacturable, and Earth-abundant. However, barriers exist for c-Si modules to reach US$0.50–0.75/Wp fabrication costs necessary for subsidy-free utility-scale adoption. We evaluate the potential of c-Si photovoltaics to reach this goal by developing a bottom-up cost model for c-Si wafer, cell, and module manufacturing; performing a sensitivity analysis to determine research domains that provide the greatest impact on cost; and evaluating the cost-reduction potential of line-of-sight manufacturing innovation and scale, as well as advanced technology innovation. We identify research domains with large cost reduction potential, including improving efficiencies, improving silicon utilization, and streamlining manufacturing processes and equipment, and briefly review ongoing research and development activities that impact these research domains. We conclude that multiple technology pathways exist to enable US$0.50/Wp module manufacturing in the United States with silicon absorbers. More broadly, this work presents a user-targeted research and development framework that prioritizes research needs based on market impact.

Graphical abstract: Crystalline silicon photovoltaics: a cost analysis framework for determining technology pathways to reach baseload electricity costs

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 17 Dec 2011, accepted on 27 Jan 2012 and first published on 14 Feb 2012


Article type: Analysis
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE03489A
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 5874-5883
  •   Request permissions

    Crystalline silicon photovoltaics: a cost analysis framework for determining technology pathways to reach baseload electricity costs

    D. M. Powell, M. T. Winkler, H. J. Choi, C. B. Simmons, D. B. Needleman and T. Buonassisi, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 5874
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EE03489A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements