An Analysis of Glass-Glass CIGS Manufacturing Costs

Kelsey Horowitz, Ran Fu, Michael Woodhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus Citations


This article examines current cost drivers and potential avenues to reduced cost for monolithic, glass-glass Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2 (CIGS) modules by constructing a comprehensive bottom-up cost model. For a reference case where sputtering plus batch sulfurization after selenization (SAS) is employed, we compute a manufacturing cost of $69/m2 if the modules are made in the United States at a 1 GW/year production volume. At 14% module efficiency, this corresponds to a manufacturing cost of $0.49/WDC and a minimum sustainable price (MSP) of $0.67/WDC. We estimate that MSP could vary within ±20% of this value given the range of quoted input prices, and existing variations in module design, manufacturing processes, and manufacturing location. Potential for reduction in manufacturing costs to below $0.40/WDC may be possible if average production module efficiencies can be increased above 17% without increasing $/m2 costs; even lower costs could be achieved if $/m2 costs could be reduced, particularly via innovations in the CIGS deposition process or balance-of-module elements. We present the impact on cost of regional factors, CIGS deposition method, device design, and price fluctuations. One metric of competitiveness-levelized cost of energy (LCOE) - is also assessed for several U.S. locations and compared to that of standard multi-crystalline silicon (m(c-Si)) and cadmium telluride (CdTe).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-64972


  • CIGS
  • Co-evaporation
  • LCOE
  • Manufacturing cost analysis
  • Photovoltaic
  • Selenization


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