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Materials availability for thin film (TF) PV technologies development: a real concern ?


Citation Candelise, C., Speirs, J., and Gross, R Materials availability for thin film (TF) PV technologies development: a real concern ?. 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2011.06.012.
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Author(s) Candelise, C., Speirs, J., and Gross, R
Opus Title Sustainable Energy Reviews
Pages 4972-4981
Volume 15
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2011.06.012
Abstract

Decarbonisation goals have triggered photovoltaic (PV) sector expansion and cost reductions in PV technologies. Thin film (TF) PV technologies are currently the cheapest to manufacture and offer the possibility of attaining lower costs. However, scarcity of key component materials has been highlighted as a potential barrier to both large scale deployment and reductions in technology cost. This paper explores this claim for cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) TF technologies and their potentially constraining materials, tellurium and indium. It reviews key literature, highlighting the high uncertainty in the estimates of the resource constrained TF PV potential as well as in data and methodologies used to assess future availability of the targeted materials. The reviewed evidence does not support the contention that the availability of tellurium andindium will necessarily constrain CdTe and CIGS technologies respectively in their ability to supply expected future PV market growth. However, future escalation in indium and tellurium price resulting from demandsupply imbalances could have a negative impact on CdTe and CIGS cost reduction ambitions. Factors influencing indium and tellurium price and their relative contribution to TF PV module production cost need further investigation.