Electrical Engineering focused on solar cell technology?

Question by : Electrical Engineering focused on solar cell technology?
I plan to start my studies for my master and later have plans for PhD.

What do you think are the future prospects in solar cell technology? I gained a lot of interests in semiconductors during undergraduate classes and would like to continue studies in this field.

Best answer:

Answer by Tex T
I think that the solar cell industry will eventually look like the semiconductor industry in 10 or 20 years. At the start there will be dozens of companies making solar cells and the economics will drive the industry to be cyclical, because solar panels are essentially commodities. When demand is high companies will rapidly expand which will lead to overcapacity and the prices will fall and the higher cost manufactures will go out of business until the industry is concentrated in two or three very large companies that are the lowest cost producers, probably in Asia.

Making a commodity is hard, whether it is a DRAM, Solar cell, or hard disk drive, because it is all about margins, cost reductuion, and economies of scale. So most of the research will be concentrated on increasing the efficiency by .1% or making the manufacturing process simpler by a dollar a solar panel.

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