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high solar cell efficiency comes with a price and different factors affect competitiveness

Competitive solar cells depend on local weather, efficiency, subject material and manufacturing prices. The fluctuation of electrical energy costs from different assets and political climates each play a giant phase as smartly.

Professor Marika Edoff at Uppsala University in Sweden, an expert in solar cell generation, heads one of the most main groups in skinny movie photovoltaic analysis. Thin movie is the second one technology of solar cell generation, offered after crystalline generation. “We focus on thin film solar cells because they are cheaper to mass produce. Their durability was questionable, but now they come with a 20-year guarantee.”

The efficiency of solar cells, or photovoltaic cells, available on the market regularly varies between 10-15 p.c. Edoff believes solar cells with a upper efficiency will quickly succeed in the marketplace, however further factors will resolve efficiency. “The theoretical limit is about 30 percent,” she stated. “I think the public will see an efficiency of 16 percent for modules within a few years when the technology matures. Overall cost will determine the efficiency that reaches the market. Higher efficiency can mean a high cost for the customer. Solar cells need to become cheaper to produce.”

Climate, political selections and converting power costs will affect solar cell competitiveness and those factors range between nations. “Solar cells are a big industry. It will be competitive within the coming two years in South Europe, Africa and the Sun Belt in the U.S. The competitiveness of solar cells is dependent on the changing prices of electricity from other sources. In some countries the solar cells will pay for themselves within one to five years. They are not competitive for all climates. For example, in Germany solar cells are profitable. The government requires utility companies to buy electricity from customers’ personal solar panels. But in Sweden such a subsidy does not yet exist,” Edoff stated.

Deputy Chairman Andrew Machirant on the Swedish Solar Energy Association favours subsidies. “It is less about the technology, which is already efficient, than about how you support the expansion of solar power systems in society,” he stated. “What we need is an efficient subsidy in Sweden and we don’t have one. When the demand increases the production capacity increases, which reduces the cost. It was the same situation 10-15 years ago for wind power.”

He thinks that Italy may be very with reference to having aggressive photovoltaics, arrays of cells. “The price for energy from fossil fuels increases and the price for energy from photovoltaics decreases until they converge. I think that Italy will have reached this convergence in 2012-2013. The sun shines most efficiently for about one to two hours per day, and energy consumption will be high then. Energy from solar power systems can level out those peaks. Photovoltaics become competitive then. In Sweden, with rising energy prices and a 5-10 percent decrease in price per year for the whole solar power system, photovoltaics will be competitive in 2020.”

Solar cells shall be a supplement to different applied sciences for power manufacturing. Subsidies can accelerate the transition to solar energy. With expanding power costs, the solar supplies limitless attainable.

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