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The outlook for crystalline solar photovoltaic technology over the next decade

Singh, D. and Jennings, P. (2007) The outlook for crystalline solar photovoltaic technology over the next decade. In: Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development in the Asia Pacific Region Conference, 4-8 February 2007, Fremantle, Western Australia pp. 98-110.

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The solar photovoltaic (PV) industry has achieved impressive growth by producing 1,818 MW of solar cells (93.5% crystalline) in 2005, an increase of almost 45% over the previous year. However the PV industry, which has been dependent on the supply of the basic raw material (silicon) from the waste of the semiconductor industry, now faces an acute shortage of supply. The price of polysilicon has reached a peak of US$400/kg on the spot market, over ten times the long to medium term supply contract price. To overcome the shortage of silicon feedstock, a number of new solar silicon plants and processes have been announced by the PV industry. This paper discusses the implications of this shortage and the effect of new manufacturing facilities for the future of the crystalline silicon PV technology in the foreseeable future. It also discusses whether, crystalline silicon will lose its place of dominance from its current 93.5% market share, to thin film technologies, such as amorphous silicon and CIGS, or whether crystalline technology will continue to dominate after overcoming the temporary shortage of silicon supply?.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Copyright: © 2007 American Institute of Physics.
Notes: Appears in AIP Conference Proceedings Volume 941, 2007, pp 98-110
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