Despite multiple challenges, the maturing thin-film PV sector looks set to increase market share


By Shyam Mehta, Senior Analyst, GTM Research

The three most viable thin-film photovoltaic technologies – cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper-indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS), and amorphous silicon (a-Si) – continue to mature and grow technologically and in market stature. But apart from the dominance shown by CdTe leader First Solar, the rest of the TFPV manufacturers have had a fairly difficult time making significant commercial inroads as the price of mainstream crystalline-silicon modules plummeted over the past couple of years. Other factors delaying the long-predicted age of thin film include bankability challenges and difficulties in reducing production and system costs. Yet entrants in all three thin-film categories have reason for optimism, as they push toward a competitive market position. This paper provides an overview of the current status of the thin-film PV sector and its players, offering insights into why certain companies might emerge successfully in the years ahead.

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The tenth edition of Photovoltaics International was published in November 2010. In this edition, Q-Cells SE demonstrates the benefits of laser marking, Fraunhofer IST presents TCO deposition techniques in Thin Films, and we take an in-depth look at the benefits of using selective emitters on an industrial scale with Neo Solar Power.

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