Full Title: Photovoltaic Deployment Scenarios toward Global Decarbonization: Role of Disruptive Technologies
Author(s): Billy J. Stanbery, Michael Woodhouse, and Jao van de Lagemaat
Publisher(s): Solar RRL
Publication Date: April 7, 2023
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To totally decarbonize global electrical systems using photovoltaics (PVs) in the 2050–2060 decade, the world would need to install 63.4 TW of PV. This article models and explores how a PV manufacturing ramp-up trajectory toward this goal can be achieved while assuming that investors continue to make financially rational decisions avoiding stranded production assets and therefore protecting their return on investment. The model effectively exploits experience curve benefits in both the scaling of the manufacturing process and continued progress in product design technologies. The scale-up challenge is amplified because trajectories that achieve this goal require an unprecedented ramp-up of production capacity over just two decades, followed by relatively modest demand to maintain the installed base and support continued population growth. It is demonstrated that sustainable ramp-up of manufacturing is indeed possible and shown that the deployment of the requisite manufacturing capacity can be accelerated and accomplished at lower total capital cost by the introduction of disruptive technologies that have lower capital intensity, embedded energy, or higher efficiency.