Lux Research’s Putting High-Concentration Photovoltaics into Focus report is expecting for high-concentrating PV (HCPV) to start making a bigger footprint in the solar industry. The research company’s new report expects for HCPV to have a 31% compound annual growth rate until 2017, growing to 697MW in five years. Lux Research anticipates the growth in the HCPV technology to create a system market worth US$1.6 billion and a module market worth US$700 million with a system price of US$2.33/W.
“HCPV has had very little success installing commercial systems to date. However, as markets shift due to subsidy cuts from distributed installations in low-DNI (direct normal irradiance) environments such as Germany, to large installations in high-DNI environments such as India, expect HCPV to grow at a faster rate than competing technologies,” said Ed Cahill, Lux Research associate and the lead author of the report.
Cahill and his researchers found that HCPV costs are coming down and should become cost competitive with single-axis tracked multicrystalline silicon in 2017. Additionally, HCPV is expected to gain cost parity with mc-Si for high-DNI, utility-scale projects in 2018 with cuts achieved through lower shipping and labour costs.
Well-funded companies are anticipated to be the key in driving the HCPV market as long as they “expand intelligently”. The report notes that Amonix fell prey to expanding too soon and too fast leading it to make several cut-backs. However, Lux Research states that its struggle has left the field open for other companies such as Soitec, SunCore and SolFocus.
Furthermore, Lux Research is confident that the efficiency roadmap for HCPV will be positive. The company cited Solar Junction’s record-breaking 43.5% efficient cell and Spectrolab and Emcore’s working development of an inverted metamorphic cell to help lead the way for efficiency to reach 45% in five years and 50% in ten years.