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December 5, 2023

How solar price declines in polysilicon, high-purity quartz, silver paste and other elements will shake out through 2040

Solar Module Price Forecast 2023-2040

This forecast covers the price of solar modules through to 2040. Particular attention is given to the future market share of different types of silicon and perovskite modules. The usage rates of polysilicon, Czochralski Process crucibles, high-purity quartz, wafers, and silver paste are also covered. While this report focuses on silicon PV modules, it includes some coverage of tandem and thin-film perovskite module costs and efficiencies as well.

The current module price of $150 per kW is already a historic low, down 42% from January 2020 just before the pandemic hit. This report demonstrates there is much further to fall as the solar industry hits an extended period of overcapacity and consolidation – not from any weakness of demand, which has already grown to 600 GW, but from the over $100 billion invested in new solar manufacturing production capacity since 2020.

Specific cost contributors examined on a $-per-kW basis are:

  • Polysilicon and industrial silicon
  • High-purity quartz and synthetic quartz supplies and usage
  • Czochralski Process crucible size increases and fill factors
  • Wafers, crucible fill factors, wafer thickness, and diamond wire
  • Cells, including silver paste usage
  • Modules, including glass and everything above
  • A preliminary estimate of perovskite costs

This includes a forecast of the total scale of the solar industry with a breakdown by cell type and extrapolates the efficiencies of those cell types through 2040. Besides established cell technologies such as Mono PERC and the N-type designs which are just entering mass adopting, this topic includes single-junction and tandem perovskites.

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Rethink Energy Research

Rethink Energy forecasts the changing energy landscape and its investment possibilities, as renewables begin to take over from conventional fossil fuels