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Title: On the Path to SunShot. Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in U.S. Solar Manufacturing

This report provides insights into photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) manufacturing in the context of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative. Although global PV price reductions and deployment have been strong recently, PV manufacturing faces challenges. Slowing rates of manufacturing cost reductions, combined with the relatively low price of incumbent electricity generating sources in most large global PV markets, may constrain profit opportunities for firms and poses a potential challenge to the sustainable operation and growth of the global PV manufacturing base. In the United States, manufacturers also face a factors-of-production cost disadvantage compared with competing nations. However, the United States is one of the world's most competitive and innovative countries as well as one of the best locations for PV manufacturing. In conjunction with strong projected PV demand in the United States and across the Americas, these advantages could increase the share of PV technologies produced by U.S. manufacturers as the importance of innovation-driven PV cost reductions increases. Compared with PV, CSP systems are much more complex and require a much larger minimum effective scale, resulting in much higher total CAPEX requirements for system construction, lengthier development cycles, and ultimately higher costs of energy produced. Themore » global lack of consistent CSP project development creates challenges for companies that manufacture specialty CSP components, and the potential lack of a near-term U.S. market could hinder domestic CSP manufacturers. However, global and U.S. CSP deployment is expected to expand beyond 2020, and U.S. CSP manufacturers could benefit from U.S. innovation advantages similar to those associated with PV. Expansion of PV and CSP manufacturing also presents U.S. job-growth opportunities.« less
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (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 SunShot; solar; PV; photovoltaic; CSP; concentrating solar power; manufacturing; innovation; China; United States; global; CAPEX; employment; jobs; policy; technology; supply chain; industry; competition; market share; growth projection