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Searching for Game Changers in Photovoltaic Materials Innovations: Next-Generation Technologies that Drive Down $/W

With the current PV market conditions it may seem counter-intuitive to invest in PV innovation. But since not much more can be squeezed from the cost structure of incumbent PV manufacturing techniques, innovations in materials and cell designs are needed to retrieve profit margins. Disruptive PV technologies that are easy to scale, result in module efficiency gains, and reduce capital and materials costs will be the likely game changers.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
    • Innovation in Materials and Cell Design is Critical for Future PV Profit Margins
    • Government and Academic Research Labs Will Drive a Significant Portion of PV Innovation
    • Landscape Conclusions
  • Analysis
    • Scalability and Low $/W Will Drive the Innovation in PV Technologies
    • Kerfless Wafering Techniques are a Mixed Bag of Potential and Bust
    • Anti-Reflective and Light-Trapping Coatings Provide Cheap Alternatives for Cell Efficiency Increase and Cost Reduction
    • ITO Replacements Are Becoming Attractive for the CIGS and OPV Market
    • CZTS, a Low-Cost Replacement for CIGS, Has a Ways to Go, but with the Potential to Deliver
    • Quantum Dots Solar Cells Show Potential for High Efficiencies at Low Cost
    • Despite Millions of R&D dollars, Nanowire-Based Solar Cells Have a Long Way to Go
    • Single-Junction III-V-Based Cells May Enter Terrestrial PV Market in the Next Few Years
  • Outlook
  • About Lux Research
  • Endnotes
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