In September, the United States Department of Energy released the Solar Futures Study which outlines how solar energy could produce 45% of the nation’s electricity by 2050.
In order to reach this target, the U.S. would need to deploy 1,570 GW of solar by that date. The target also hinges on the existence of a concerted policy effort, aggressive cost-reductions, extensive deployment of other clean technologies, and expansions of the transmission system, as well as large-scale electrification of end uses.
Research and development is vital to maintaining or, ideally, accelerating solar photovoltaic technology cost-reduction trajectories for continued industry growth. There is a particular opportunity for the U.S. to establish itself as a global leader and achieve national decarbonization goals by supporting domestic manufacturing of next generation solar cell technologies.
The next great race
For several years, crystalline silicon solar cells have dominated the market and have become the industry standard against which all alternatives are compared. In 2019, about 83% of the total PV market in the United States was crystalline silicon-based products. Under the umbrella of crystalline silicon cells, monocrystalline p-type passivated emitter and rear cells (PERC) undisputedly dominate the market.
Source: PV Magazine