Energy production

Developments in solar PV

Solar photovoltaics (PV) are the world’s fastest growing renewable electricity resource. This growth is expected to continue to accelerate in the coming decades, with capacity expanding 40-fold from 0.8 PWh in 2019 to 34 PWh in 2050.

Since their creation at Bell Labs in 1954, silicon solar cells and their corresponding PV modules have become a defining part of the energy transition, bringing clean, renewable energy to power grids and homes around the world. Underlying this revolution are ongoing technological innovations to both PV modules and systems that we will discuss in this chapter. Storage solutions for managing the variability of solar energy are addressed under New battery technology and EVs & grid integration.

In this chapter, DNV's Technology Progress Report covers: 

  • State of the solar PV market
  • Improvements in crystalline silicon PV
  • Thin film improvements
  • PV system technologies
  • Future advancements

DNV perspective

We anticipate substantial growth in solar capacity, driven primarily through cost reductions and the competitiveness of solar assets against traditional electricity generators.

Rapid technology development across the industry will continue to underpin cost and efficiency improvements. Taking advantage of new technologies as they come online can bring opportunities to further improve the value and resilience of solar assets for the decade to come. 

Durable, high performance PV generation is a major stepping-stone to the energy system of the future, and DNV is eager to contribute our expertise in accelerating its buildout.

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