Economically Sustainable Scaling of Photovoltaics to Meet Climate Targets

Gregory Wilson, David Needleman, Jeremy Poindexter, Rachel Kurchin, Marius Peters, Tonio Buonassisi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Scopus Citations


To meet climate goals, photovoltaics (PV) deployment will have to grow rapidly over the next fifteen years. We identify two barriers to this growth: scale-up of manufacturing capacity and the cost of PV module production. We explore several technoeconomic approaches to overcoming these barriers and identify deep reductions in the capital intensity (capex) of PV module manufacturing and large increases in module efficiency as the most promising routes to rapid deployment. Given the lag inherent in rolling out new technology, we explore an approach where growth is fueled by debt or subsidies in the short-term and technological advances in the medium term. Finally, we analyze the current capex structure of crystalline silicon PV module manufacturing to identify potential savings.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2016
Event2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC) - Portland, Oregon
Duration: 5 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


Conference2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC)
CityPortland, Oregon

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5J00-67918


  • manufacturing
  • meteorology
  • photovoltaic systems
  • production
  • silicon
  • throughput


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