Thin film photovoltaics (PV) will become the technology preference in the 100 GW solar market, says one manufacturer.
Founder of Manz AG, Dieter Manz, told PV Tech recently that bigger production scales, along with advancement of global solar markets, will make thin-film PV markets ready for prime time.
Manz also suggests his company’s backing of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) will pay off, saying the lower cost scale of CIGS is better than other market technologies.
“If we talk about the next generation and bigger markets, we are convinced crystalline technology is not the technology of choice. Thin-film will have a much better cost position, thin-film is much more reasonable to make it bigger – if you look at the cost structures of really big factories, 5GW or bigger, thin-film technology has a lot of advantages,” Manz added about thin-film’s competitive cost advantage over crystalline technology.
Manz sees lots of potential in thin-film PV, such as for rooftop solar and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV). However, firm interest from utility-scale sectors from the globe’s top PV markets will continue dominating growth by far, he said.
Manz is not the only one who has gone big on thin-film PV.
Earlier this year, we reported that US-based First Solar (the #1 thin-film solar manufacturer and developer for years) at its Ohio manufacturing plant created the highest efficiency for a non-concentrating cadmium-telluride (CdTe) cell, at 21%.
In 2013, thin-film PV production was 3.5 Gigawatts-peak (GWp), according to German based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, showing there is much room for growth. Conventional solar prices continue to fall, but so do thin-film solar prices, and their efficiencies have been improving much more quickly, so expect thin-film PV to increase within the solar market in the future, as solar energy becomes much more prevalent in our energy mix.