Thin-film PV’s path to 30% market share

July 14, 2009 On a cost/Watt basis, thin-film solar PV is potentially very attractive, with CdTe leading the way today and tandem silicon cells and CIGS not far from catching up, notes Linx Consulting’s Mark Thirsk. And if the technical challenges with thin-film technology are solved, he’s bullish that it may take over a 30% share of the market.

Though he characterizes solar PV technology in general as “very mature,” Thirsk does see some areas bringing in technology improvements; e.g. diamond saws, which offer advantages in material reclaim. One showstopper, he suggests, could be what happens to production of virgin silicon if the industry slows down. But overall he sees the technology continuing to improve, driving better utilization of silicon.

Also, he notes there’s a “lot of thrust” in North America with thin-film technology, with CdTe and CIGS “upping the ante” to generate more power for much less material.


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