Complete guide to solar cell technologies
The current market is dominated by the almighty silicon (Si) solar cell which has a share of over 75% of the entire solar panel market. However it is not certain that silicon (Si) will remain the largest solar cell technology in the future.
Currently, over 350 start-up companies worldwide are working on solar cell technologies, to increase efficiencies, cut costs and use new materials. Learn more about the different cell technologies in our solar cell guide.
Solar cell technologies
What are the main solar cell technologies to look at? And which technologies have the potential to be commercially competitive in the future?
Main solar cell technologies are:
- Silicon solar cells
- Thin films, including CdTe, CIGS
- Third generation Multi junction cells, GaAs
- Organic solar cells, including Dye Sensitized solar cells
- Tandem solar cells
Which role will solar cells play in the future?
New solar cell technologies with high efficiencies (20-25%), cheap manufacturing costs and abundant, non-toxic materials have a great future. Our current world population uses around 15TW of energy.
This amount will increase to 30TW of power by 2050. Boosted by the need to reduce carbon emissions, solar cells will play an important role in fulfilling future energy demand.
Because of our growing need in energy, the reduction in PV module costs, and government support, the solar industry is growing with a fast pace. Growth is now around 40% a year, and will continue as more and more countries reach grid parity the coming years.
Already by 2020 over 90% of countries are expected to have reached grid parity, unleashing unlimited potential for solar energy