Photovoltaics (PV) deployment of roughly 110 gigawatts (GW) in 2018, and competitive PV production are fuelling the boom of the solar market.
Innovative and cost-effective production technologies, a rapid rate of progress, and quality and reliability today guarantee highly efficient PV modules and systems at ever lower costs.
There is a massive reduction in power generation costs for renewable energies. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that by 2020, the price of generating power at large-scale solar power stations could drop to roughly three US cents per kWh in many regions around the world. Solar energy is thus increasingly in direct competition with fossil fuels.
Key players in this arena are companies driving the expansion of cost-effective mass production with new technologies and efficient manufacturing processes, thus making solar energy even more attractive.
PV manufacturers in Asia are taking the lead with investments in modern production plants and are in need of high-grade equipment. A current example is the Chinese PV company Risen Energy, which began production of solar cells and modules in Changzhou in early 2018. Five GW are expected to roll off the new factory’s assembly line each year.
According to the industry association German Engineering Federation (VDMA), German PV suppliers are also profiting from the Asian production boom. In recent times East Asia has accounted for a large portion of their export quota, amounting to 87 % , and German-engineered PV production equipment continues to be in demand.
Order volumes have increased in particular for PERC and black silicon systems with crystalline silicon as well as thin-film technology, reflecting the rising demand for highly efficient cells. Thin-film modules and in particular CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide) cells are increasingly also being used as façade elements.
For building-integrated photovoltaics, the boom lies ahead – beginning in 2020, all new non-residential buildings in the EU must be “nearly zero-energy buildings,” likely leading to increased use of thin-film solar cells on façades.
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