Panelists discuss whether crystalline silicon, upgraded metallurgical silicon or thin film will reach the lowest costs.
by: Jennifer Kho
From GreenTech Media, July 16, 2008
The solar industry can potentially reduce costs 40 percent over the next five years as the silicon shortage ends, according to Graham Stevens, an associate director at Navigant Consulting. At the Intersolar North America conference in San Francisco this week, panelists discussed different ways to reduce those costs. For example, Roy Johnson, CEO of Calisolar, said that the cost of producing upgraded metallurgical-grade silicon, also known as UMG silicon, can potentially be one-sixth that of making polysilicon. The company plans to make cells from 100 percent UMG silicon, which Johnson said is three orders of magnitude less pure than polysilicon, and is aiming for efficiencies of 16 percent to 17 percent. (more…)