The present and future silver cost component in crystalline silicon PV module manufacturing

Published: March 4, 2016

By Michael Redlinger & Roderick G. Eggert, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines; Michael Woodhouse, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The purpose of this paper is to determine how increased c-Si PV module production might affect future silver demand and prices, as well as the impacts on total c-Si module manufacturing costs. To evaluate how PV’s changing demand for silver might affect future silver prices, and the impact in terms of manufacturing costs, some scenarios of silver’s contribution to c-Si PV cell manufacturing costs are compiled on the basis of projected changes in demand and price as a result of changes in material intensity. The analysis indicates that an expansion of c-Si production from 55GW/year to 250GW/year results in a 0.05–0.7¢/W increase in manufacturing costs because of higher silver prices.

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