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Thin Film Photovoltaics - Second Generation PV?
S. Franz
Economic Analysis, PV Markets, Thin Film Paste
Thin Films
Subtopic: Thin Film Crystalline Silicon
Event: 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 1-5 September 2008, Valencia, Spain
Session: 3AV.1.64
2355 - 2356
ISBN: 3-936338-24-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/23rdEUPVSEC2008-3AV.1.64
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


During the last years of solar boom and silicon shortage, some 70 companies announced plans to produce photovoltaic (PV) thin film modules by 2010. The activities of renowned PV producers and other financially strong players are an indicator for the massive profits that are expected in this sector. Although not all of the expansion plans will be realized, it is certain that the thin film technologies will leave their niche market position. Currently, crystalline technologies prevail in the global PV markets. Mono- and polycrystalline technologies make up about 85 percent of the global PV production. This share can be expected to sink to 78 percent by 2010. But is PV thin film the second generation PV that will replace the crystalline competition or will each technology simply fill the most suitable market segments? The two key aspects with regard to the competition between crystalline and thin film PV are the production costs and the possibilities for product differentiation. PV thin film will set the conventional technologies under immense pricing pressure. However, the differences in the operational behavior of the various PV technologies indicate that each product will find a market niche. Only in the long run, with substantial improvements of the efficiency rate of the thin film technologies would it be possible to oust the crystalline competition. This trend may be enforced by the commercialization of even newer technologies such as organic and nano PV.