By Matthias Zapp, Project Manager, Fraunhofer IPA
The recent 30% decline in module market prices is the most telling sign of a need for continuous reductions in PV production costs. With this in mind, the cost efficiency of production processes is, next to stable product quality, a vital objective in the planning of production facilities. In this paper, the lessons learned in the area of cost of ownership (COO) forecasting methodologies will be analyzed and evaluated for their potential application to investment decisions in the PV industry. This paper will analyze the cost structure of the PV industry with the aim of underlining the importance of a systematic cost-of-ownership approach.