Innovation in the field of thin-film cells, in addition to economy of scale and the manufacturing learning curve, is an important element in keeping the price of this technology competitive. Most papers on these cells focus on their technology; however, the economic potential of the technology is also important. Of even greater significance, a realistic estimation of the potential, along with the associated costs, of advanced technology, is part of the equation for profitability. Two examples of technology – metallic grids and texturing – are given in this paper; the designs are discussed, and a brief economic analysis is presented for various scenarios of the technologies. Although the profitability of these technologies can be considerable, it is shown that one should be wary of basing decisions purely on potential and on ideal scenarios, and how the cost of a technology can turn a great prospect into a trade-off.
The PV CellTech 2017 conference has just finished. The findings were revealing, stimulating, thought-provoking, and in terms of mass production metrics from a PV event, once again ground-breaking, writes Finlay Colville.
This week's Movers & Shakers segment sees big waves in Europe with a new president for SolarPower Europe and Lightsource hiring a new strategy officer in its move to evolve from a pure solar company to a global energy leader. There's resignations in some of Asia's biggest module manufacturers including Trina Solar and Yingli Green, and the Coalition for Community Solar Access celebrates its first anniversary and talks to PV Tech on how to keep the community solar boom going.
In this week's Movers & Shakers, PV Tech reports on a series of solar executive board shake-ups, as well as the Solar Energy Industries Association bestowing five members of the US Congress with prestigious awards for their efforts in contributing to the ITC extension.
Manufacturing equipment supplier Manz, which regards solar and energy storage as two of its three key strategic business segments, claims recent restructuring is starting to pay off, reporting some positive developments in its latest financial reports.
Japan Renewable Energy Corporation, a developer closely affiliated with investment banking group Goldman Sachs, will be happy to take on and complete even 1% of Japan's unbuilt utility-scale solar projects, the company has said.
Recently, First Solar provided updates to the market on 2016 company operations, but hidden within the details is potentially a more relevant metric relating to the competitive positioning of their CdTe panels with the main competition in the market today, p-type multi c-Si modules.