The future of energy - Photovoltaics

Angus A. Rockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This special issue includes critical opinion articles that describe the current status, prospects, and challenges facing some of the primary solar cell technologies being manufactured or developed today. This article presents an introduction to the issue with an overview of topics that cross many or all approaches to producing the devices. Some of the topics considered are the basic structure of a solar module and potential for performance, the reasons for recent explosive growth of the technology (over 40% per year in recent years), the scale that the industry can reach, the cost of components of the device, a comparison of the current technologies and their performances, a discussion of the resource limitations for the various technologies, a brief comparison of manufacturing methods, recycling of the devices, and finally a note about other key roadblocks to full implementation of solar cells as the world's primary energy source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy
  • Photovoltaics
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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