Materials and advanced cell concepts under the microscope in latest PV roadmap


By Ben Willis, Head of Content, Photovoltaics International

As the upstream PV industry enters a new phase of growth, manufacturers are seeking new strategies and technologies to enable them to continue to cut costs and remain competitive. The sixth edition of the annual International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic describes the key trends likely to shape the PV sector in the coming year. This paper analyses some of the most promising areas for development.

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In the past few issues of Photovoltaics International we have tracked in detail plans being implemented by the leading module manufacturers to expand production capacity. That process began tentatively last year as end-market demand began to catch up with the chronic overcapacity that had built up in the preceding years, prompting industry-wide upheaval. Our latest capacity expansion report (p.11), a unique resource in the industry, reveals that while that activity was maintained throughout much of 2014, spiking in a strong final quarter of 2014, announcements of new capacity slowed slightly in the opening quarter of this year. Nevertheless, all the signs point to the pace picking up again later this year as manufacturers look to take advantage of the surge in activity expected in the US at the back end of this year and into 2016, in anticipation of the cutting back of the solar investment tax credit at the end of that year.

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