Quo Vadis photovoltaics 2011
European Commission, Joint Research Centre; Renewable Energy Unit, via E. Fermi 2749, TP 450, 21027 Ispra ( VA), Italy
Received: 31 May 2011
Accepted: 12 July 2011
Published online: 29 September 2011
Since more than 10 years photovoltaics is one of the most dynamic industries with growth rates well beyond 40% per annum. This growth is driven not only by the progress in materials knowledge and processing technology, but also by market introduction programmes in many countries around the world. Despite the negative impacts on the economy by the financial crisis since 2009, photovoltaics is still growing at an extraordinary pace and had in 2010 an extraordinary success, as both production and markets doubled. The open question is what will happen in 2011 and the years after as the situation is dominated by huge manufacturing overcapacities and an increasing unpredictability of policy support. How can the PV industry continue their cost reduction to ensure another 10 to 20 years of sustained and strong growth necessary to make PV to one of the main pillars of a sustainable energy supply in 2030. Despite the fact, that globally the share of electricity from photovoltaic systems is still small, at local level it can be already now above 30% of the demand at certain times of the year. Future research in PV has to provide intelligent solutions not only on the solar cell alone, but also on the module and the system integration level in order to permit a 5 to 10% share of electricity in 2020.
© EDP Sciences 2011
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