The Future PV event’s unique format brings together the up and downstream parts of the solar value chain. Last week’s Roundtable discussion (click on this link to see a video of the roundtable) saw quite different approaches to how solar’s levelized cost of electricity can be reduced, from developments in cell metallization, powerful technologies such as n-type mono, and new module designs, such as SunPower’s P-Series shingled module.
“2017 has been the year of most of innovation launches,” said Andreas Liebheit, the President of the Heraeus Photovoltaics and Renewables Cluster. “We are going to see advanced PERC with 22.5% next year and we see n-type further on with 24% efficiency. So, you [will] see big milestones along the timelines pretty soon as well.”
While there were a number of memorable moments among presentations from Hanwha Q Cells, with its award-winning ‘steel frame’ module, to developer Recurrent Energy – which set out ways in which EPCs can drive cost reductions through establishing investor confidence in new technologies.
However, a highlight of the event was the presentation from First Solar Chief Technology Officer Raffi Garabedian, who made the strong case that PV costs are not proving to be the major constraint to more widespread adopting on solar on the grid. His proposal that very high penetrations of solar PV can be achieved on grids safely and with little impact on stability of electricity supply, when installed and configured correctly, which drew almost unanimous approval from attendees.
“The lowering of LCOE is a good thing, but it’s not he constraint to adoption of more PV on the grid,” said First Solar’s Garabedian. “The constraint is grid integration and the policy structure that promotes the adoption. The price point today in many parts of the US is that it is already low enough that it is the cheapest form of new energy.”
To see the video of the Future PV event click on this link.