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Cost Reduction Predictions for Solar PV Cells in India
EPIA (European PV Association) predicts that the cost of solar PV panels will decrease at an annualised 9% from now until 2020. That's really sweet news to hear.
There are however quite a few industry folks who think that the cost reduction trend will plateau down quite fast and one should not expect dramatic reductions from now on. But there are others who feel - like EPIA - that the solar panel cost reductions will continute quite as in the past:
"However, there are reasons to be optimistic about cost reductions (US$/Wp) of PV modules:
* Until now, crystalline silicon modules using electronics grade silicon scraps as feedstock have dominated the world PV market. Their manufacturing processes derive from the electronics industry and are not optimized for PV module production.
* Significant cost reductions will be achieved as soon as dedicated production facilities for solar-grade silicon are justified by demand.
* Even sharper module cost reductions can be expected in the case of thin film PV cells, irrespective of the basic semiconductor employed (amorphous silicon, CdTe, CIS, or others). First, this is due to the use of a much smaller amount of semiconductor material and to much lower energy consumption rates. Secondly, thin-film manufacturing techniques (direct deposition) allow the direct manufacturing of 1,000 cm2 integrated solar modules (i.e. a-St) and are particularly well suited for mass production.
All these point to a future in which solar PV cells are going to be available at a fraction of the costs at which they are available today. At this rate of cost reductions, solar PV could reach grid parity by 2017 or so, in many parts of the world. What do you think?