Natural resource limitations to terawatt solar cell deployment

Coby S. Tao, Jiechao Jiang, Meng Tao

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

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The predicted energy demands will reach 28 terawatts by 2050 and 46 terawatts by 2100. The deployment of solar cells as a source of energy will have to expand to a scale of tens of peak terawatts in order to become a noticeable source of energy in the future. Of the current commercial and developmental solar cell technologies, the majority have natural resource limitations that prevent them from reaching a terawatt scale. These limitations include high energy input for crystalline-Si cells, limited material production for GaAs cells, and material scarcity for CdTe, CIGS, dye-sensitized, crystalline-Si, and amorphous Si cells. In this paper, we examine these resource limitations under the best scenarios, i.e. the maximum possible power from each of these solar cell technologies. Without significant technological breakthroughs, these technologies combined would meet only 1-2% of our energy demands in 2100.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationECS Transactions
Pages3-11
Number of pages9
Volume33
Edition17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotovoltaics for the 21st Century 6 - 218th ECS Meeting - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: Oct 10 2010Oct 15 2010

Other

OtherPhotovoltaics for the 21st Century 6 - 218th ECS Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV
Period10/10/1010/15/10

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Tao, C. S., Jiang, J., & Tao, M. (2011). Natural resource limitations to terawatt solar cell deployment. In ECS Transactions (17 ed., Vol. 33, pp. 3-11) https://doi.org/10.1149/1.3553342