There have been several important publications recently on the cost reductions and learning curve progress happening in CPV that we wanted to talk about. First is this fantastic bit of research published by Joan E. Haysom et al from the SUNLAB Centre for Research in Photonics at the University of Ottawa. Her research shows that the learning curve, or the amount a product drops in price with a cumulative doubling in production, is around 18%, which is higher than the values for CSP or traditional PV, which are 11% and 12-14% respectively. This is combined for CPV system prices which today, at much smaller production levels, are competitive with traditional PV and CSP approaches at far higher volumes. Below is a chart from her paper showing the precipitous drop in prices for CPV systems in large installations. CPV is already at pricing similar for other high performance PV technology, such as back contact silicon, at a much smaller production volume.
In addition, today PV-magazine.com put out an article about a recent NREL / Fraunhofer ISE report detailing the progress made in CPV to date, including pricing / cost progress. The report cites that CPV prices are “tumbling” with pricing competitive today against PV in high DNI environments.
Overall, this is good news for CPV, showing that the products and technology are “growing up” with cost and performance values that position CPV well for continued growth and interest in many market segments.
Please feel free to explore these new reports for yourself at the links above