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Vertical Integration in the PV Industry: 2010 and beyond
A. Skumanich
Module, Manufacturing, Roadmap, Vertical Integration, Cell
PV Deployment
Subtopic: Enablers for PV Development and Benefits of PV
Event: 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, 21-25 September 2009, Hamburg, Germany
Session: 6DV.3.2
4511 - 4516
ISBN: 3-936338-25-6
Paper DOI: 10.4229/24thEUPVSEC2009-6DV.3.2
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Vertical Integration (VI) has been a part of the PV manufacturing chain with cyclical regularity. Most recently, especially because of the poly-Si shortage, there has been an increase focus in VI with many companies extending both up-stream to poly production or down-stream to installation. This paper examines some of the considerations for VI. The main premise is that while the concept of margin protection by VI seems appealing, there are complexities which impede that market reality. Instead alternatives are emerging which include “Virtual Integration” and what this author calls “Bridging Integration”. These newer VI types of configurations provide some of the benefits of VI while still maintaining flexibility. The paper will describe some of the VI configurations, and examine both the current as well as developing landscape for VI. An additional point of this paper is that there is merit to considering truly full VI down-stream to electricity production because the margins for hardware will have to collapse (with the drive to lower costs), whereas the costs for electricity can legitimately rise once below the local (non-renewable) market level. Some specific case studies will be provided from the current market place.