Solar photovoltaics development. Status and perspectives

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    This is the final report on the status and long-term perspectives for the development of solar photovoltaics, contributing to the Macro Task E1 on production cost for fusion and alternative technologies, part of the programme for Socio-Economic Research on Fusion.

    After a short introduction about the most promising PV technologies the report concentrates on the present market trends showing that the PV sales has been growing 16% over the last 9 years, 28% over the last 3 years and expanded by 43% last year to a global total of 126.7 MWp 1n 1997. The annual shipment is largest in the U.S. with 53 MWp followed by Japan and EU.

    Until now off-grid installation have dominated the solar PV market, since they are already economically competitive. However, often the financial mechanisms and necessary organisational set-up are missing. At the moment many big PV manufacturers are working to get good successful reference cases in developing countries. But now the on-grid installations in developed countries are beginning to increase. The main growth area in on-grid domestic installations, where there are big programs running in Japan (5000 MWp installed in 2010), U.S. (3000 MWp in 2010) and the Netherlands (1450 MWp in 2020).

    Looking at the perspectives a continuation of the high growth in solar PV production will continue supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The PV industry has already announced increases in production capacity large enough for a continuation of last year high growth.

    The report shows status and perspectives for production costs for solar PV until 2050. The routes to PV module cost of 1$/Wp are clear. The growth of the market to an annual shipment of over 2 GWp (reached in 2010 with a 25% annual growth) will lead to production plants of the scale needed to achieve these cost. It is expected that the PV industry will make decisive investment of this size in the period 2005-2010. A substantial cut in solar PV cost per kWh can be expected within the next 10-50 years. Before 2010 it will be reduced by a factor of five and somewhere between 2010 and 2050 solar photovoltaics will be fully
    competitive to conventional fossil fuel based electricity production.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherRisø National Laboratory
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)87-550-2424-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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