IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/46657.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Source of Cost Reduction in Solar Photovoltaics

Author

Listed:
  • Pillai, Unni
  • Cruz, Kyle

Abstract

The price of solar panels has fallen rapidly over the last few decades. Using an extensive dataset of prices, costs, output, sales and technical characteristics of firms in the solar industry during 2005-2011, this paper investigates the factors that have contributed to the decline in costs and prices. While previous studies have attributed learning-by-doing and static scale economics as the main drivers of cost reduction, we find that these do not have any significant effect on cost once four other factors are taken into account, namely, (i) reduction in the cost of a principal raw material, (ii) increasing presence of solar panel manufacturers from China, (iii) technological innovations, and (iv) increase in investment at the industry level. Together, these suggest that innovations in the upstream industries that supply the solar panel industry with raw materials and capital equipment have been important drivers of technological progress in the solar panel industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Pillai, Unni & Cruz, Kyle, 2013. "Source of Cost Reduction in Solar Photovoltaics," MPRA Paper 46657, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46657
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/46657/1/MPRA_paper_46657.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frondel, Manuel & Ritter, Nolan & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Vance, Colin, 2010. "Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energy technologies: The German experience," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4048-4056, August.
    2. Peter Thompson, 2001. "How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Learn? New Evidence for an Old Case Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 103-137, February.
    3. Ronald S. Jarmin, 1994. "Learning by Doing and Competition in the Early Rayon Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 441-454, Autumn.
    4. Gavin Sinclair & Steven Klepper & Wesley Cohen, 2000. "What's Experience Got to Do With It? Sources of Cost Reduction in a Large Specialty Chemicals Producer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 28-45, January.
    5. van der Zwaan, Bob & Rabl, Ari, 2004. "The learning potential of photovoltaics: implications for energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(13), pages 1545-1554, September.
    6. Nemet, Gregory F., 2006. "Beyond the learning curve: factors influencing cost reductions in photovoltaics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3218-3232, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Solar; Photovoltaics; Technological Change; Learning;

    JEL classification:

    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46657. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.