B Von Roedern, H Ulal, “Critical issues for commercialization of thin-film PV technologies”

This article serves as a summary of the state of thin-film photovoltaic cell technology, circa February 2008.  It notes that thin-film technology is rapidly taking increasing its share of the solar market (from 6% to 44% in the US in under three years).  Particular attention is given to First Solar’s 40MW solar field, in the process of being installed at the time in Saxony, Germany.  This €130M facility has achieved the lowest per watt installed price (€3.25/W) to date.  The authors also excitedly notes an announcement that Sharp is building a 1000MW thin-film factory in Japan by 2010, which they believe will significantly reduce the manufacturing costs of PV.  They conclude that cost reductions and economy-of-scale gains in thin-film PV technology will “potentially make solar electricity price-competitive with grid-parity electricity int he not-too-distant future.

-ZH

Read the full article here.

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