PP4.1 Cost Evaluations

Project Coordinator: 
Chief Investigators: 
Renate Egan; Martin Green; Richard Corkish; Anita Ho-Baillie


Photovoltaic technologies are already a competitive option when considering alternative new investments to meet peak day-time demand and are increasingly competitive in a much broader range of applications. We can expect to see new technologies, like those being developed at the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) being commercialised and deployed in next generation technologies, as we are seeing now with the manufacturing deployment of passivated emitter rear cell (PERC). As we work towards this, we need to be very aware of the competitive marketplace that we are delivering technologies into. 

The manufacturing costing program aims to deliver a substantiated methodology for assessing module manufacturing costs of different technologies. The objectives are: (i) to quantify the potential of new technologies; (ii) to inform decision-making around research priorities; and (iii) to guide resources to cost ($) and performance (W) opportunities.

The cost targets are set to a level such that PV would be competitive with other electricity generation options. Benchmark comparison is made to the US government’s SunShot targets for photovoltaic costs, with the expectation that one or more of the ACAP technologies will meet these targets. These cost targets are set with a view to ensure that the technologies developed are internationally competitive, taking into consideration all aspects of the costs for PV manufacturing. The relevance of these cost reduction targets is that their achievement would be recognised as a very major technological advance internationally and would provide the stimulus needed to encourage serious investment in the new technology.


The utility scale PV system cost target for 2020 is $1/W and an LCOE of $0.06/kWh. To achieve this LCOE, the SunShot PV program has the following input targets: 

• Module cost to the end customer of $0.40/W.
• Module efficiency of 20%.
• Degradation rate of 0.2%/annum.

The ACAP research program aims to meet these targets through new materials and device developments, described in PP1, 2 and 3. The Manufacturing Issues program (PP4) will provide the framework for comparing the manufacturability and competitiveness of the innovative technologies under investigation within the ACAP group.

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