05 Sep '13, 2pm

NREL, MIT: Chinese Solar PV Manufacturing Advantages Not Set in Stone

Their new study, hot off the press in the latest issue of Energy & Environmental Science , calculates a minimum sustainable price (MSP) for solar panel manufacturing in both the U.S. and China, taking into account not just the technical costs to make a PV module but how to do so with a profit. The MSP includes other factors like labor costs, equipment depreciation, R&D, taxes, and other strictly nontechnical factors. Looking beyond manufacturing steps and associated costs more accurately represents how companies have to exist in the real world, explained Tonio Buonassisi, report co-author and associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. "You can survive as a company selling below that [minimum price] if you ignore depreciation of capital equipment or other expenses, or present a best-case scenario of uptime, but that ignores reality," he said. The report addresses...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013...

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