chapter  8
Cost Analysis, Technological Impact, Challenges, and Outlook
Pages 14

Photovoltaic (PV) technology is quite futuristic for clean and long-term energy production, but unfortunately the present cost of traditional PV technologies is not low enough for their widespread and frequent use for energy generation. The cost of different PV technologies is determined on the basis of their per watt energy generation that comes out to be different for different PV technologies. The manufacturing process and efficiency determine the cost of a PV technology. The manufacturing of PV devices and panels requires lots of energy, which is mostly derived from nonrenewable sources of energy. Therefore, the cost of a PV technology in a way also depends on the cost of fossil fuels. The dependence of PV production on fossil fuels makes them not 100% clean, however, the subsequent use of solar cells will cause no harmful effect on the climate. The overall damage done to the environment by PV technologies is negligible compared to that by fossil fuels. Once the energy production cost of solar cells comes down below that of fossil fuels, it will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The energy required for production of PV cells and modules could be drawn directly from solar PV plants that would eliminate any harm done to the environment by production of PV panels.