Thin-Film Photovoltaic Cells: When Less is More

The global PV cell market has grown tremendously with a five-year compound annual growth rate, CAGR, through 2008 of 56% (“2008 Solar Technologies Market Report,” US Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy). While crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV has approximately 80% of the market share, developers are working hard to lower costs. And, since c-Si wafers make up 40-50% of the final cost of the finished cell module, the industry is turning to alternative materials and technologies. One of the new technologies—thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV)—has grown faster than c-Si with an impressive five-year CAGR of 87%.

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