The latest edition of the PV manufacturing roadmap has highlighted the crucial role of manufacturing innovation in ensuring solars ongoing competitiveness as a power source. It has also painted a picture in which manufacturers continue to face challenges with oversupply continuing to be a future, however a suite of technological innovation delivering cost reductions and efficiency increases.
Average module power output rolling off standard production lines in 2025 should reach 310Wp, in 60-cell modules the ITPRV predicts. Costs too will continue to decline in line with the historic 20% learning curve.
Technologies delivering both these cost reductions and power increases come in the form of improved manufacturing materials, and advanced cell technologies including double and single-sided cell contacting, improved crystalline silicon wafers (c-Si), and improvements in front and rear side passivation. Module improvements, to deliver reduced cell-to-module losses, are also set to play a role in the progression of PV manufacturing.
Looking towards the current PV manufacturing landscape, the ITPRV finds that global PV production capacity currently stands at between 45 GWp and 55 GWp. c-Si technology continues to comprise the lions share of production capacity, coming in at around 90%, with the remainder spread across the various thin film technologies.