Solar Technology Cost Analysis

NREL’s solar technology cost analysis examines the technology costs and supply chain issues for solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

This work informs research and development by identifying drivers of cost and competitiveness for solar technologies.

An illustration shows the entire silicon solar cell value chain, beginning with a bulk polysilicon and progressing through silicon ingots, wafers, individual solar cells, and entire PV modules.

NREL analysis of manufacturing costs for silicon solar cells includes bottom-up cost modeling for all the steps in the silicon value chain.

Capabilities

Solar Manufacturing Cost Analysis

Solar Installed System Cost Analysis

Solar Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis

Solar Supply Chain and Industry Analysis

Key Project Publications

Fall 2021 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2021)

H1 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2021)

H2 2020 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2021)

Q2/Q3 2020 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2020)

Q1/Q2 2020 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2020)

Q4 2019/Q1 2020 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2020)

Q3/Q4 2019 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2020)

Q2/Q3 2019 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2019)

Q1/Q2 2019 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2019)

Q4 2018/Q1 2019 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2019)

Q2/Q3 2018 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2018)

Q1/Q2 2018 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2018)

Q4 2017/Q1 2018 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2018)

Q3/Q4 2017 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2018)

Q1/Q2 2017 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2017)

Q2/Q3 2017 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2017)

Q4 2016/Q1 2017 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2017)

Q3/Q4 2016 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2016)

Q2/Q3 2016 Solar Industry Update, NREL Presentation (2016)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2021, NREL Technical Report (2021)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2020, NREL Technical Report (2021)

Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential Solar Photovoltaics, NREL Technical Report (2018)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2018, NREL Technical Report (2018)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2018, NREL Presentation (2018)

2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Costs Benchmark, NREL Technical Report (2018)

2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Costs Benchmark, NREL Presentation (2018)

Estimating the Effects of Module Area on Thin-Film Photovoltaic System Costs, 2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (2018)

Evaluating the Cost Benefits of U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage Systems, Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE 7th WCPEC (2018)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2017, NREL Technical Report (2017)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2017, NREL Presentation (2017)

An Analysis of the Cost and Performance of Photovoltaic Systems as a Function of Module Area, NREL Technical Report (2017)

Exploring the Potential Competitiveness of Utility-Scale Photovoltaics plus Batteries with Concentrating Solar Power, NREL Technical Report (2016)

Installed Cost Benchmarks and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar Photovoltaics with Energy Storage: Q1 2016, NREL Technical Report (2016)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2016, NREL Technical Report (2016)

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2016, NREL Presentation (2016)

Estimating the Effects of Module Area on Thin-Film Photovoltaic System Costs, 2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (2018)

Printed Interconnections for Photovoltaic Modules, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (2017)

Evaluating the Economic Viability of CdTe/CIS and CIGS/CIS Tandem Photovoltaic Modules, Progress in Photovoltaics (2017)

Low-Cost CdTe/Silicon Tandem Solar Cells, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics (2017)

Analysis of Glass-Glass CIGS Manufacturing Costs, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (2016)

Tutorials

Watch these six video tutorials to learn about NREL's techno-economic analysis—from bottom-up cost modeling to full PV project economics. 

Contact

Robert Margolis

Senior Energy Analyst

Robert.Margolis@nrel.gov
202-488-2222