Title: Status and Perspectives of Thin Film Photovoltaics
Authors: JAEGER-WALDAU Arnulf
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC50609
ISBN: 978-1-61668-326-9
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC50609
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Since a number of years photovoltaics continues to be one of the fastest growing industries with growth rates well beyond 40% per annum. This growth is driven not only by the progress in materials and processing technology, but by market support programmes in a growing number of countries around the world. The spiking fossil energy prices in 2008 and the European gas crises in 2007 and early 2009 showed the necessity to diversify energy supplies for the sake of energy security and highlighted the benefits of local renewable energy resources like solar energy. The very high growth is being attained by an increase in manufacturing capacities based on the technology of crystalline, single junction devices, but in the last few years despite the already very high growth rates of the whole industry, thin film photovoltaics is growing at an even quicker pace increasing its market share from 2005 to 2008 from 6 to over 10%. Consistent with the time needed for any major change in energy infrastructure, another 10 to 15 years of sustained and aggressive growth will be required for photovoltaic solar electricity to substitute a significant share of conventional energy sources. The question is whether a switch will be possible with the current technologies alone or whether this growth will only be possible with the continuous introduction of new technologies. It leads us to the search for new developments with respect to material use and consumption, device design and production technologies as well as new concepts to increase overall efficiency. This paper analyses the current status of thin film solar cells and their outlook for future developments.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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