PV Roadmap: Trend of PV cost reduction interrupted in 2021

The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) will publish its updated »International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic« (ITRPV) on April 14. The report summarizes annual forecasts and parameters along the photovoltaic value chain.
Accordingly, there has been a trend towards steady price reductions »over several decades«, which was disrupted for the first time in 2021. The reason was in particular the tripling of the price for polysilicon and wafers. However, these had been »at least partially compensated by cell and module manufacturers.«
The VDMA recognizes a »strong trend toward larger wafers and larger modules.« The smaller wafer formats of less than 161 millimeters of edge length would »disappear within the next three years in favour of larger formats.« Currently the 166 millimeter (M6), 182 millimeter (M10) and 210 millimeter (G12) formats are taking center stage. These formats resulted in larger modules, both in rooftop and power plant applications. In rooftop applications, modules smaller than 1.8 square meters had a 50 percent market share. For power plant applications, 60 percent of modules are currently larger than 2.5 square meters, and the share is expected to increase to more than 85 percent by 2032. In addition, 16 percent of modules for power plants are expected to be larger than 3.0 square meters.
The market share of monocrystalline silicon wafers will be about 90 percent in 2022 and is expected to increase further, the paper says. The market share of higher-grade n-type material will also increase from currently 20 percent to about 70 percent in the next decade. As a result, the product warranty for modules is expected to increase to 15 years and the performance warranty to 30 years. Degradation after the first year of operation will drop to one percent.
In terms of cell technologies, PERC is dominant, with a market share of more than 85 percent expected in 2022. In combination with half-cell and larger module formats, modules with more than 600 watts have become established. PERC technology would remain dominant with a market share of 70 percent through 2032. Silicon heterojunction technology is expected to reach a market share of 19 percent, the forecast says, while other high-efficiency technologies such as integrated back-contact and tandem technology will follow with about five percent each.
VDMA’s Photovoltaic Production Equipment Department is accompanying the publication of the roadmap with a free webinar on April 14, 2022 (see link below).

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