Natural resource limitations to terawatt-scale solar photovoltaics

Coby S. Tao, Jiechiao Jiang, Meng Tao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The deployment of solar photovoltaics has to expand to a scale of tens of peak terawatts in order to become a noticeable source of energy in the future. All the current commercial solar cell technologies suffer from natural resource limitations that prevent them from reaching terawatt scales. These limitations include high energy input for wafer-Si cells and material scarcity for CdTe, CIGS, wafer-Si and amorphous Si cells. We examine these resource limitations under the best scenarios, i.e. the maximum possible power from each of the cell technologies. Without significant technological breakthroughs, these technologies combined would meet only 1-2% of our energy demands in 2100. Without significant increase in raw material production, the deployment of these technologies combined would likely plateau at 100-200 GWp/yr. This analysis identifies several high-impact research directions for amorphous Si cells including substitution of Ag and ITO with earth-abundant Al and ZnO or TiO2-based TCO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Workshop on Active-Matrix Flatpanel Displays and Devices
Subtitle of host publicationTFT Technologies and FPD Materials, AM-FPD 2013
Pages211-214
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Nov 22 2013
Event20th International Workshop on Active-Matrix Flatpanel Displays and Devices: TFT Technologies and FPD Materials, AM-FPD 2013 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jul 2 2013Jul 5 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 20th International Workshop on Active-Matrix Flatpanel Displays and Devices: TFT Technologies and FPD Materials, AM-FPD 2013

Other

Other20th International Workshop on Active-Matrix Flatpanel Displays and Devices: TFT Technologies and FPD Materials, AM-FPD 2013
CountryJapan
CityKyoto
Period7/2/137/5/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Tao, C. S., Jiang, J., & Tao, M. (2013). Natural resource limitations to terawatt-scale solar photovoltaics. In Proceedings of the 20th International Workshop on Active-Matrix Flatpanel Displays and Devices: TFT Technologies and FPD Materials, AM-FPD 2013 (pp. 211-214). [6617818] (Proceedings of the 20th International Workshop on Active-Matrix Flatpanel Displays and Devices: TFT Technologies and FPD Materials, AM-FPD 2013).