DuPont Electronics & Communications President Dave Miller told attendees of the recent Barclays Chemical ROC Stars conference in New York City that DuPont advances in materials are continuing to drive the cost of photovoltaic (solar) energy lower. That is helping to achieve grid parity—the point at which the unsubsidized cost of photovoltaic electricity is equal to the price of electricity from the grid.
“We expect that global photovoltaics markets will, on average, achieve grid parity by 2015,” Dave said. “Some areas where there is an abundance of sunlight and high grid electricity prices already have achieved grid parity. Advanced materials that continue to increase the efficiency and extend the lifetime of photovoltaic modules are an important factor in driving down the cost of photovoltaic electricity.”
The cost of photovoltaic energy is a function of the lifetime and efficiency of solar cells and modules. DuPont provides important products to the photovoltaic industry like Solamet® photovoltaic metallization paste, which plays a central role in efficient conduction of the electricity generated by photovoltaic cells. DuPont also provides Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride films for the backsheet of photovoltaic modules. Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride film is the only material proven to enable photovoltaic modules to perform in the field for the 25-plus years investors require to achieve their expected returns on photovoltaic systems.
“It is important for investors in photovoltaic systems to understand that using modules made with the most advanced proven materials like Solamet® and Tedlar® can enhance returns,” Dave said. “The systems being installed today will be around for at least a generation so the quality of what they are made from really matters.”
DuPont achieved about $1.4 billion in sales to the photovoltaic market in 2011, and has set a goal to reach $2 billion in sales by 2014, based on continued, strong demand for its products. Over the next five years, the industry anticipates 20% average annual growth in installations, as photovoltaics reach grid parity in more markets. DuPont remains the largest supplier of materials for the photovoltaics market, except for silicon.
View Dave’s presentation on the Investor Center.