centrotherm photovoltaics: photovoltaic system costs to fall by double-digit percentage rate by 2013, generating billions of euros of savings worldwide

Blaubeuren, 09.06.2011

  • Around 20 percent cost reduction possible within two years
  • EUR 1.6 billion of savings in Germany, and global total of more than EUR 10 billion by end of 2013
  • Efficient production processes, economies of scale and higher efficiencies in solar value chain as drivers
  • Solar electricity to become significantly more cost-attractive, achieving utility parity within renewable energies mix from 2015

At the world's largest solar sector trade fair, the Intersolar Europe in Munich, centrotherm photovoltaics AG has shown how photovoltaics (PV) can become even more competitive: PV system prices can be pushed down up to 20 percent by 2013 if processes along the solar value chain are optimised further. This will generate cost-savings for newly installed PV systems of around EUR 1.6 billion in Germany alone, and even of around EUR 10.5 billion globally by end of 2013.

"More than one third of the cost reduction can be achieved through improved production processes covering the polysilicon, solar cell and modules stages", explained Dr. Peter Fath, CTO at centrotherm photovoltaics, the globally leading supplier of technology and equipment to the photovoltaic sector. Raw material costs, inverters, and installation predominantly comprise around two thirds of the cost saving. "System prices can fall by 20 percent to a net price of around € 1,930 per kilowatt by the end of 2013 if all other participants in the photovoltaic value chain, all the way through to the installation of the PV system, do their homework."

A particular focus at centrotherm photovoltaics is on higher solar cell efficiencies, because these generate great cost-reduction potential. "We aim to have the 20 percent high-performance solar cell by 2013 at the latest – and specifically in mass production, and not only as a laboratory figure", Dr. Fath went on to comment. "Consequently, we will continue to push ahead with further developments at full speed." As a rule of thumb, a one percentage point higher efficiency cuts production costs by around six percent.

Higher production capacities that generate economies of scale comprise further drivers of lower manufacturing costs. This trend is particularly noticeable on the Asian market. Further additional significant cost effects are to be achieved by building an integrated factory that covers the entire solar value chain through the solar silicon production, solar cell, and solar module stages. This allows cutting out the margins of suppliers and other producers. "Already today, we can identify this as a trend among our premium cost leaders", as commented Dr. Fath of centrotherm photovoltaics, the pioneers of turnkey systems, and providers of key equipment along all important steps of the solar value chain.

"Solar electricity, which is already important, will receive a further significant boost to its cost appeal over the next few years, and become very attractive", noted Dr. Fath with a view to the future. Generation prices of 12 to 16 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) will then be possible in Germany in around two years' time. With costs of seven to eight euro cents per kilowatt hour, a mix of renewable energies will achieve utility parity with conventional power plants by the middle of the decade. Wind and sun complement each other optimally in electricity generation, allowing storage capacities to be minimized.

"We see photovoltaics, in combination with other renewable energy sources, as making a key contribution to allowing Germany, as well as other countries, to realize an exit from the nuclear energy option", commented Robert M. Hartung, CEO and Management Board Chairman of centrotherm photovoltaics AG.

About centrotherm photovoltaics AG

centrotherm photovoltaics AG, which is based at Blaubeuren, Germany, is the world's leading technology and equipment provider for the photovoltaics sector. The company equips well-known solar companies and new sector entrants with turnkey production lines and single equipment to manufacture silicon, crystalline solar cells and thin film modules. As a consequence, the Group possesses a broad and well-founded technological basis, as well as key equipment at practically all steps of the photovoltaics value chain. centrotherm photovoltaics guarantees its customers important performance parameters such as production capacity, efficiencies, and completion deadlines. The Group employs over 1,700 staff members, and operates in Europe, Asia and the USA. centrotherm photovoltaics achieved revenue in the 2010 financial year of EUR 624,2 million, EBIT of EUR 75.4 million. The company is listed in the TecDAX index on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

centrotherm photovoltaics AG
Johannes-Schmid-Strasse 8
89143 Blaubeuren
Internet: www.centrotherm.de
Admitted to the Regulated Market/Prime Standard, Frankfurt Securities Exchange
Corporate domicile: Germany


Saskia Feil
Senior Manager Investor & Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8890

Dr. Torsten Knödler
Manager Public Relations
Tel: +49 7344 918-8898