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Title: Economics of Future Growth in Photovoltaics Manufacturing

The past decade's record of growth in the photovoltaics manufacturing industry indicates that global investment in manufacturing capacity for photovoltaic modules tends to increase in proportion to the size of the industry. The slope of this proportionality determines how fast the industry will grow in the future. Two key parameters determine this slope. One is the annual global investment in manufacturing capacity normalized to the manufacturing capacity for the previous year (capacity-normalized capital investment rate, CapIR, units $/W). The other is how much capital investment is required for each watt of annual manufacturing capacity, normalized to the service life of the assets (capacity-normalized capital demand rate, CapDR, units $/W). If these two parameters remain unchanged from the values they have held for the past few years, global manufacturing capacity will peak in the next few years and then decline. However, it only takes a small improvement in CapIR to ensure future growth in photovoltaics. Any accompanying improvement in CapDR will accelerate that growth.
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), 14-19 June 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana; Related Information: Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), 14-19 June 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana
Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY photovoltaics; manufacturing; capex