While I am all for research into novel manufacturing processes, I think prices for conventional c-Si will continue to fall as:liveforphysics wrote: ↑Nov 21 2017 9:29pmOriginally PV cells were millions of lab RnD to achieve even a single Watt. Now it's <$0.50/Watt, and will continue to fall at exactly the rate people figure out how to use materials and energy at atom perfect levels to create self-scaleing nano-manucturing. Then energy storage is cake and dirt cheap with energy density exceeding gasoline, and solar is cake and dirt cheap because it only uses fractions of a gram of material per square meter and has 70-80% efficiency over a wide range of available light angles (its also going to look black to human vision, yet stays cool when sitting in the sun, because that energy went out the wires.)
-Efficiencies improve. The theoretical maximum efficiency of single crystal solar is around 33%, and we will continue to approach that. This will not improve cost per cell, but will improve cost per watt.
-Manufacturing processes require less silicon. Silicon is fairly energy intensive to produce. Continued reduction in the amount of silicon needed per cell will reduce cost per cell.
-BOS costs (panel glass, panel framing, encapsulant) get reduced via very pedestrian means - cheaper (or no) framing materials, better/cheaper glass, improved interconnects.
These are what brought us from the $10/watt I saw when I first looked into solar to the sub $1/watt we see today. They have some runway left, and I would not be surprised to see sub 25 cent per watt solar with nothing more than the above improvements in existing manufacturing processes.