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Photovoltaics (PV) is becoming, much faster than anybody would have expected, the most cost-effective electricity source on earth. Not only that it is clean, low maintenance, decentralized and scalable - in some cases, the costs per kWh in large systems are already even cheaper than coal energy. In India and other sunny countries, planned coal plants were even cancelled already in 2017 in favour of PV systems. In a couple of years, PV will become an unbeatable electricity source, as there is still huge potential for cost reductions - some of that e.g. offers making full use of bifaciality in many applications. In 2017, about 100 GWp additional PV module installations have been added to the existing ca. 300 GWp - much faster than anybody would have expected. The most optimistic scenarios forecasted a 100 GWp market in 2022 - which happened now 5 years earlier. In 2020 or 2021, we will have a total of 1 TWp installed PV systems worldwide. In this chapter, we sketch a complete picture of PVs status, explain the role of bifaciality and predict what the importance of bifacial PV in future PV systems in terms of reduction of electricity generation costs will be.

Chapter Contents:

  • 1.1 PV 2018 – history, present and future
  • 1.1.1 PV becomes the most cost-effective electricity source
  • 1.1.2 What PV technology will win at the end?
  • 1.2 Bifacial PV 2018 – history, present and future
  • 1.2.1 Short bifacial history
  • 1.2.2 Bifacial status
  • 1.2.3 Bifacial future
  • 1.2.4 Changing to cost per kWh thinking instead of cost per Wp mentality
  • 1.3 Bifacial book 2018
  • 1.3.1 Latest bifacial publications and presentations
  • 1.3.2 Chapters of our bifacial book
  • Chapter 2: Bifacial cells
  • Chapter 3: Bifacial modules: design options, characterization and reliability
  • Chapter 4: Energy yield simulations and design rules for bifacial PV systems
  • Chapter 5: Bifacial PV systems and yield data (bifacial gain)
  • Chapter 6: Impact of bifaciality on the levelized cost of PV generated electricity
  • Chapter 7: Importance of bankability for market introduction of new PV technologies–bifaciality as example
  • Chapter 8: Geographic distribution of bifacial gain
  • Chapter 9: Summary
  • References

Inspec keywords: power generation economics; solar cells; photovoltaic power systems

Other keywords: bifacial PV; cost-effective electricity source; PV module installations; photovoltaics; bifaciality; PV systems; electricity generation costs

Subjects: Solar power stations and photovoltaic power systems; Photoelectric conversion; solar cells and arrays; Solar cells and arrays; Power system management, operation and economics

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