SEMI: Solar PV module costs to fall to USD 0.52 per watt in December 2016

SEMI predicts a gain in market share for passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) PV cells. Image: Bosch
SEMI predicts a gain in market share for passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) PV cells. Image: Bosch

Forecasting ongoing progress in cost reduction for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, SEMI (San Jose, California, U.S.) has released the fifth edition of its International Technology Roadmap for PV (ITRPV).

The study covers the entire value chain of crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV, from crystallization to PV systems. The document provides no “silver bullet”, but instead predicts improvement in almost every aspect of PV production, looking at both increased market share for new technologies and incremental progress with materials.

Some of the technologies which SEMI expects to gain market share are fluidized bed reactor polysilicon production and diamond wire sawing. The organization also expects an increase in the market share of n-type monocrystalline PV cells and cell concepts including back contact cells and passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) cells.

Additionally, it expects thinner wafers and glass and less metalization paste use, but for copper to not replace silver until at least 2018. Cell concepts are expected to adapt to thinner wafers.


23.5% learning curve

As a result of these improvements, SEMI expects average PV module production costs to fall from USD 0.64 per watt at the end of 2013 to USD 0.58 per watt at the end of 2014, and USD 0.52 per watt at the end of 2016. This will represent a learning curve of 23.5%.

In formulating the roadmap, SEMI drew on the experience of 28 leading c-Si PV cell makers, module makers, silicon producers, wafer suppliers, PV equipment suppliers and production material providers, as well as PV research institutes.


2014-03-21 | Courtesy: SEMI; Image: Bosch | © Heindl Server GmbH

Our editorial selection of breaking solar news is published at: