The Growth of Solar Concentrator Photovoltaic Markets in the Southwest US
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Worldwide solar photovoltaic (PV) markets have grown at an average rate at 38% over the past ten years. While polysilicon flat panel PV modules have traditionally dominated the overall solar market, a range of different solar energy conversion technologies are starting to gain market share. One such class of solar technologies, concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), is in its commercial infancy but offers a module manufacturing paradigm to greatly lower the cost of solar electricity production. This paper examines the attributes of CPV and analyzes how it might compete within the overall solar market. The Southwest US is used as a case study to examine specific subsidies, regulations, and business models that will affect the success of CPV. In addition, a financial model was created to examine important factors influencing retail and wholesale PV and CPV project costs under various scenarios.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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