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Implications for CdTe and CIGS technologies production costs of indium and tellurium scarcity


Chiara Candelise, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ, London, UK.



Scarcity of indium and tellurium has been highlighted as a potential barrier for cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) thin film technologies to achieve both large-scale deployment and reduction in production costs. With the aim of assessing the relative weight of the aforementioned concerns, this paper looks at indium and tellurium availability and implications for CIGS and CdTe production costs of their price increases. A breakdown of CdTe and CIGS module production costs is provided, accounting for the relative share of each component materials over total module cost. Conditions affecting usage of the key materials in CdTe and CIGS technologies are weighted against potential future indium and tellurium price escalation to provide a fuller picture of production cost implications for the thin film photovoltaics technologies. This includes exploring and quantifying the potential for innovation and technological developments (including efficiency increases, reduced absorber layer, higher material utilisation during deposition process) to ease the impact of possible future indium and tellurium supply constraints and price increases. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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