Photovoltaics at multi-terawatt scale: Waiting is not an option

by Nancy M. Haegel, Pierre Verlinden, Marta Victoria, Pietro Altermatt, Harry Atwater, Teresa Barnes, Christian Breyer, Chris Case, Stefaan De Wolf, Chris Deline, Marwan Dharmrin, Bernhard Dimmler, Markus Gloeckler, Jan Christoph Goldschmidt, Brett Hallam, Sophia Haussener, Burkhard Holder, Ulrich Jaeger, Arnulf Jaeger-Waldau, Izumi Kaizuka, Hiroshi Kikusato, Benjamin Kroposki, Sarah Kurtz, Koji Matsubara, Stefan Nowak, Kazuhiko Ogimoto, Christian Peter, Ian Marius Peters, Simon Philipps, Michael Powalla, Uwe Rau, Thomas Reindl, Maria Roumpani, Keiichiro Sakurai, Peter Schossig, Rutger Schlatmann, Ron Sinton, Abdelilah Slaqui, Brittany L. Smith, Peter Schneidewind, BJ Stanbery, Marko Topic, William Tumas, Juzer Vasi, Matthias Vetter, Eicke Weber, A. W. Weeber, Anke Weidlich, Dirk Weiss, Andreas W. Bett
Article Year: 2023 DOI: DOI: 10.1126/science.adf6957


M. Haegel, N., Verlinden, P., Victoria, M., Altermatt, P., Atwater, H., Barnes, T., Breyer, C., Case, C., De Wolf, S., Deline, C., Dharmrin, M., Dimmler, B., Gloeckler, M., Goldschmidt, JC., Hallam, B., Haussener, S., Holder, B., Jaeger, U., Jaeger-Waldau, A., Kaizuka, I., Kikusato, H., Kroposki, B., Kurtz, S., Matsubara, K., Nowak, S., Ogimoto, K., Peter, C., Marius Peters, I., Philipps, S., Powalla, M., Rau, U., Reindl, T., Roumpani, M., Sakurai, K., Schorn, C., Schossig, P., Schlatmann, R., Sinton, R., Slaqui, A., L. Smith, B., Schneidewind, P., Stanbery, BJ., Topic, M., Tumas, W., Vasi, J., Vetter, M., Weber, E., W. Weeber, A., Weildlich, A., Weiss, D., W. Bett, A.


A major renewable-energy milestone occurred in 2022: Photovoltaics (PV) exceeded a global installed capacity of 1 TWdc. But despite considerable growth and cost reduction over time, PV is still a small part of global electricity generation (4 to 5% for 2022), and the window is increasingly closing to take action at scale to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while meeting global energy needs for the future. PV is one of very few options that can be dispatched relatively quickly, but discussions of TW-scale growth at the global level may not be clearly communicating the needed size and speed for renewable-energy installation. A major global risk would be to make poor assumptions or mistakes in modeling and promoting the required PV deployment and industry growth and then realize by 2035 that we were profoundly wrong on the low side and need to ramp up manufacturing and deployment to unrealistic or unsustainable levels.