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PV Futures (PP6.1)

PP6.1: PV Futures and Knowledge Sharing




This work package will resource the continuous review of PV technologies, markets and opportunities and deliver an over the horizon perspective on developments current and emerging PV technologies.

Research will include the development of models, insights and roadmaps of PV technology and cost trends, foresight and knowledge sharing to deliver impact and accelerate the transition to a low emissions future.

The aim is to position ACAP as the premier source of reliable information on forward looking aspects of PV technology, costs and opportunities over a 5–10-year time frame, to inform policy and to support data-driven decision making as Australia rapidly navigates the energy transition.


Solar PV and wind constitute 75% of global net generation capacity additions, and 99% in Australia because they are cheap. A highly effective route to rapid, low-cost and deep reduction in emissions is via electrification of energy services (transport, heating, industry) using electricity from solar PV and wind. This allows the elimination of 80% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions. This route uses mature technology from vast production runs that allows low energy costs.

Electricity production in Australia must triple to about 750 Terawatt-hours (TWh) per year to eliminate fossil fuels from the economy. About 450 Gigawatts of solar and wind will be required, of which 300-350 GW will be solar, with a value of hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 25 years. Globally, about 100 Terawatts of solar and wind is required to eliminate fossil fuels. Growth rates of 30% per annum in deployment of solar and wind are sufficient to deliver this outcome by 2040.



The best available skills within ACAP and in the global solar community will be utilised to provide an over-the-horizon view of the future PV industry. This includes technology trends for devices, modules and solar farms; likely future costs; likely future deployment scale; and implications for emissions, employment, logistics, bottlenecks, decommissioning, transmission and storage.

ACAP will seek to deliver quarterly updates covering technology trends. Each year, a synthesis report will be produced that provides an authoritative snapshot of PV and a view 5-10 years ahead.


Expected outcomes

We expect ACAP to be recognised as the premier source of reliable information on PV technology, costs, integration and market trends as they relate to the deployment of solar in Australia over a 5–10-year time frame.

The focus will be on developments as they relate to improving the competitiveness of solar PV technologies and increasing the supply of renewable energy from solar PV in Australia.


PV Futures reporting will be developed with reference to existing and emerging technology options including solar thermal and wind energy, storage technologies, developments in the hydrogen economy and low emissions metals.

6.1.1 Technology Trends

ACAP is internationally recognised for its expertise in solar PV technology development and has substantial insight into research and development internationally, trends in manufacturing and in local trends in technology innovation and deployment.

ACAP will monitor and report on PV cell and module technology developments and trends, with a focus on those which are likely to have a major impact on the global progress towards ultra-low-cost PV for Australia and opportunities for to support low emissions metals and the hydrogen economy.

Information sources will include existing trends reports with foci on other geographical regions (ITRPV 2021), engagement in the tasks of IEA PVPS, up-to date literature surveys, review articles, industry magazines, independent market reports as available, and other non-confidential industry information.

6.1.2 Cost and Market Trends

ACAP will build on its substantial internal knowledge, models and techno-economic analysis to track cost trends and to project forward to inform research, development and investment. ACAP will work with its substantial network, with ARENA and industry partners to seek quality input data and to understand industry questions and uncertainties.

6.1.3 Multi Gigawatt Scale Solar Deployment

Annual installations of solar PV are expected to reach Terawatt scale before 2030, with Gigiawatt scale factories and deployment. ACAP will track and report on trends in scale, risks and opportunities as the relate to the deployment so large scale solar in Australia, including prospects for local manufacturing.

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