Quantifying Innovation Patterns in Next Generation Solar Photovoltaics

David Garfield, Deborah Sunter, Isa Ferrall, Jessie Knapstein, Noah Kittner, Daniel Kammen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


There have been numerous emerging next generation solar cell technologies with the potential to disrupt the solar industry. Perovskites in particular have taken the spotlight recently with unprecedented efficiency improvements. To quantify the rate of innovation in next generation solar technologies, we used learning curves to model improvements in efficiency relative to three parameters: time since first publication, cumulative publications, and cumulative patents. The learning rates found for perovskite solar cells are compared to those of dye-sensitized, and quantum dot solar cells. In doing so, this analysis aims to elicit a better understanding of the drivers of innovation for emerging solar technologies and identify technologies demonstrating extraordinary technological progress.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 IEEE 7th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC) - Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Duration: 10 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


Conference2018 IEEE 7th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC)
CityWaikoloa Village, Hawaii

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A65-73744


  • dye-sensitized
  • learning curves
  • perovskites
  • quantum dots
  • solar photovoltaics


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