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High-Concentration Photovoltaics Business and Technology Update report
Apr.2013

yole fullreporthcpv march 2013 illustration two scenarios for the hcpv
5 990 €

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Description

HCPVYoleHow can III-V cells compete with cheap crystalline silicon PV?

How to drive the annual HCPV market to 1.5 GW by 2020?

As of March 2013, approximately 120 HCPV installations have been installed throughout the world, accounting for a total capacity of about 130 MW. This is only approximately 1/1000 of the total installations of flat-plate PV, represented mainly by crystalline silicon.

The main advantage of High-Concentration Photovoltaics (HCPV) over flat-plate PV is high efficiency - surpassing 40% (at cell level), and reaching about 30% at module level. This level of efficiency is not achievable by conventional PV technologies. As we show in the report, the high efficiency of HCPV systems will be the key driver for HCPV in the future. The HCPV cell efficiency must be significantly increased (without significantly increasing manufacturing costs) in order to increase the differentiation between HCPV and its strong competitor, conventional flatplate PV, and to reduce the system costs. The high system efficiency, together with high electricity production (kWh/kW installed), makes HCPV Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) competitive with that of fossil-fueled power plants in some sunny locations.

Yole FullReportHCPV March 2013 Illustration The electricity cost produced by HCPV
Most technology challenges identified early, at the beginning of HCPV development, have been resolved already. However, today’s relatively weak HCPV market development is related not only to the technology issues, but also to the lack of financing and low interest among potential customers. To speed up the HCPV market growth, the bankability of HCPV projects must be improved at all levels, including technology development and testing, and minimizing the uncertainty about the solar resources at the future installation site, etc. This report deals with the factors that can improve the bankability of HCPV installation projects and help the HCPV market to grow. Based on future technological achievements and improved bankability, two scenarios - conservative and optimistic - are proposed for the 2013-2020 HCPV market evolution.
 
Yole FullReportHCPV March 2013 Illustration Two scenarios for the HCPV
Suply chain: vertical integration or subcontracting? Which business model will win?


HCPV market is very restricted and there is no place for less-competitive players. Several companies have recently stopped or reduce their HCPV activity due to either strong competition or losing interest in a small and low-margin market such as HCPV is today.

The leaders are not yet established, and new companies with innovative technology or business models may take a lead in the future. As shown in the report, with rising market volume, there will be an increasing trend for vertical integration in the near future. Although more vertical integration is associated with a higher business risk, it enables
better control of the system performance and total system costs.

Yole FullReportHCPV March 2013 Illustration HCPV module production
The (at least) partial vertical integration together with 100 MW+ in-house production capacities may enable companies like Suncore or Soitec to get a significant advantage compared to their competitors.

An alternative approach is to subcontract most of the business and thus lower a company’s capital needs and at the same time transfer most of the business risk to subcontractors. This approach is advantageous for small companies with limited sources of financing. In the report we analyze both approaches.

Key technology choices to be made in the next 5 years

The performance of each individual element of an HCPV system says nothing about the performance of the whole system. All elements must be carefully optimized and matched in order to get optimal system performance, as shown in this report.

Yole FullReportHCPV March 2013 Illustration HCPV technology roadmap
The report provides a detailed overview of all HCPV components needed to understand the challenges related to HCPV systems: wafer, epiwafer, solar cell, receiver module, concentrating optics, HCPV module, inverter and tracking system.

The analysis of different approaches (Ge vs. GaAs wafer, PMMA vs. SOG optics, etc.) allows identification of the main technology trends as well as materials and manufacturing techniques used. It helps to evaluate the potential of different HCPV components for cost reduction and performance enhancement.

The comparison of competing approaches enables identification of the best technology choice. The report also deals with manufacturing challenges (manual vs. automated module assembly, main factors to lower manufacturing costs, etc.).

Table of contents

List of acronyms 3
Why purchase this report? 4
What’s changed compared to the last Yole Développement’s HCPV report ? 5
Content of the report 6
Executive summary 7
Introduction 25
Solar electricity generation 27
> PV, HCPV and CSP technologies
> HCPV within the PV technologies

Where are the best locations for HCPV? 56

> High DNI is crucial
> Solar resources data suppliers
> Other criteria for the location choice
> What are the most promising HCPV markets?


How to develop a large-volume HCPV market? 80

> Main market drivers for HCPV
> Main criteria of technology choice for utility companies
> HCPV is adapted for some PV market segments only
> The uncertainties related to HCPV projects must be minimized

2013 to 2020 HCPV market forecast 101

> PV market forecast
> Two scenarios for the future HCPV market growth
> Wafer and epiwafer market forecast

 Cost of HCPV 118
> LCOE
> HCPV module cost breakdown
> HCPV system cost breakdown
> How to reduce LCOE for HCPV?

HCPV system components 138

> Key messages
> Overview
> Wafer
> Epiwafer
> Solar cell
> Receiver module
> Concentrating optics
> HCPV module
> Inverter
> Tracking system
> HCPV system
> HCPV technology roadmap

HCPV supply chain 220

> HCPV suppliers and their positioning
> Multijunction cell production capacity
> HCPV module production capacity
> HCPV business risk evaluation

General conclusion 247

Appendix: Presentation of Yole Développement 250

Companies Cited

10x Technology
3M
3TIER
Abengoa Solar
Aixtron
AkzoNonel
Amonix
Arima EcoEnergy
AXT
Azur Space Solar Power GmbH.
CCT
CESI
Concentrator Optics
GmbH.
Cool Earth
Cyrium Technologies
Daido Steel
Docter Optics
Dongfang Electric
Dow Chemical
Dowa
Edmund Optics
Emcore
Envoltek
Epistar
EverPhoton
Evonik
Freiberger Compound Material
Fronius
GeoModel Solar
GreenVolts
Grenzebach
Heliotrop
Hitachi Cable
Irsolav
Isofoton
IQE
Isuzu Glass
JDSU
JX Crystals
Magpower
Meteotest
Microlink Devices
Mitsubishi Chemicals
LPI
Persal
Powercom
Reflexite
RFMD
RSOT
San’An
SAT Control
Semprius
Sener
Sharp
SMA
Soitec
Solapoint
Solar Junction
Solar Systems
Solergy
SolFocus
Spectrolab
Spirox Corp.
Sumitomo
Suncore
Suntrix
Sylarus
Transvalor
Umicore
VBTech GmbH.
Veeco
Xiamen Powerway
ZenithSolar

 

KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT

  • 2013 to 2020 HCPV market forecast
  • HCPV system cost breakdown
  • 2013 to 2020 HCPV market forecast - wafers & epiwafers
  • Levelized cost of electricity for HCPV in 2013 and its evolution as a function of DNI
  • 2013 HCPV cell & module production capacities
  • Update of HCPV company activities