The cost of PV modules dropped to US$ 0.41 per watt in 1Q16 and will continue to reflect a downtrend. Module costs will decline further to US$ 0.29 per watt by 4Q17, Dr. Guoqiang Xing, Vice President of Technology of Canadian Solar said in 2016 PV Conference and Exhibition of China.
Xing recalled that module cost was US$ 1.32 per watt back in 2011. After just five years, this number has dropped to US$ 0.41 per watt in 1Q16 and kept declining. Due to the continuous improvement progress of PERC technology and BOS optimization, the manufacturing cost of PV systems showed a downtrend. While quality is enhanced, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) has dropped significantly.
From the aspect of PV parity and subsidy-free, the decline in LCOE is a positive message. Xing indicated that silicon PV cell will remain as a mainstream product in the next 10 years. In addition, the concept of “module cost per watt” will soon be replaced by LCOE. In fact, quite a few bid results were based on LCOE rather than cost per watt for several bidding cases in China recently.
Xing is optimistic about module costs dropping below US$ 0.29 per watt before 4Q17. He believes US$ 0.29/watt is a goal that may be achieved ahead of the schedule owing to the continuous advancement of technology.