Technical Market Analysis

The MIT Photovoltaic Research Laboratory is dedicated to developing technologies that will have maximum impact on PV grid penetration levels. This site was developed to give researchers the tools and background to calculate the cost and price impact of new technology and prioritize research topics based on market needs. We will update this site with new publications and models as our work progresses. Please do not hesitate to contact us with feedback or questions about the materials presented.


Year Title Description
2018 Economic Viability of Thin-Film tandem solar modules in the United States This work explores the economic viability of two-terminal and four-terminal tandem solar modules comprising CdTe and CIGS sub-cells in the US in different climatic locations and system scales.
2015 The capital intensity of photovoltaics manufacturing: barrier to scale and opportunity for innovation In this work, we again collaborated with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the impact of manufacturing capital intensity on module minimum sustainable price, as well the growth rate of module manufacturing capacity.
2013 Assessing the Drivers of Regional Trends in Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing (Open Access) In this collaborative study with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we explore the drivers for the recent regionalization trends in solar PV manufacturing and look towards future scenarios. We investigate the roles that innovation may play in promoting global PV price parity.
2013 Modeling the Cost and Minimum Sustainable Price of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Manufacturing in the United States We have updated our previous cost model, and now include a calculation of minimum sustainable price. With the updated model, we assess the impact of the innovation scenarios previously profiled on module selling price. We also have aimed to provide an introduction to corporate finance and the minimum sustainable price methodology.
2012 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics: A Cost Analysis Framework for Determining Technology Pathways to Reach Baseload Electricity Costs We introduce our cost model and assess the cost reduction potential obtainable from line-of-sight manufacturing innovation, as well as advanced technology currently under development. We determine that technology must advance more rapidly than is called for by the current industry roadmap to reach a module manufacturing cost target of US$0.50/Wp by the end of the decade and that multiple technical pathways exist to reach this target.


Year Title Description
2018 CdTe-CIGS tandem Cost Model Version 1 (as published in Nature Energy in 2018) A model for the manufacturing cost of CdTe single-junction modules, CIGS single-junction modules, and CdTe-CIGS two-terminal and four-terminal tandem modules, as published in Natured Energy in 2018.
2015 c-Si PV Cost Model Version 3.0 (as published in EES in 2015) This model has updates and improvement of the previously published 2013 c-Si manufacturing cost model.
2013 c-Si PV Cost Model Version 2.0 (as published in IEEE J-PV) We extend our work to include the calculation of minimum sustainable price. This model also contains many updates to the calculation of manufacturing cost.
2012 c-Si PV Cost Model Version 1.0 (as published in EES in 2012) A model for the cost of c-Si wafer, cell, and module manufacturing.


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