Solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers are still tracking along the historic 21% learning curve, going by the recently released 7th edition of the International Roadmap for Photovoltaics. The implication is that a number of solar PV cell, module, and wafer production technologies will lead to multicrystalline solar PV modules being produced with efficiencies allowing for 60-cell configurations at 310 W by the year 2026.
The new edition was produced using input from 31 different solar PV cell + module manufacturers (crystalline, polycrystalline, wafer, etc), PV research facilities, and industry material + equipment suppliers.
One of the key finding of the new International Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) report — which is put together by the German production equipment industrial association — is that signs point towards there being only very limited price-pressure relief for solar PV cell and module manufacturers this year.
The wording used in the report was: “The pressure on cell, and more painful(ly), on (PV) module manufacturing will persist.”
So, more of the same can be expected with regards to the cost-reductions seen in recent years achieved through reduced materials and production materials use.
The report notes that the average crystalline-silicon PV module price declined to 58¢/Wp in 2015 — from 62¢/Wp in 2014. This corresponds to manufacturing capacities of 50 GWp (in 2015) and 39.3 GWp (in 2014), according to the ITRPV.
Total solar PV manufacturing capacity totaled around 60 gigawatts (GW) for the year, according to report.