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PV efficiency and cost

We consider two sensitivities. In the first, we increase the PV efficiency from 23% to 35%., so 50% more energy per unit of surface. This could represent tandem cells: solar cells made by stacking two or more cells on top of each other to reach a much higher efficiency. For the same amount of electricity, we need 50% less PV panels. Assuming that the production costs of a PV panel remain the same, the cost per kWpeak reduces by a third.

In the second sensitivity, we force PV to go to 75% of its potential as from 2040 (‘Electr. PV 75% Push’).

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Key takeaways

- PV panels are very cost efficient in the next years to come. After reaching 20% of electricity generation, the benefit from PV panels diminishes.
- Total capacity does not increase much from 2030 to 2050.
- New generation PV panels with a higher efficiency are a promising technology and their lower cost have two impacts (‘Electr. PV 35% efficiency’). In the medium term, more electricity is produced. In the long term, it is reducing the electricity generation from nuclear power plants.
- In the sensitivity where we enforce a high level of solar in 2040 (‘Electr. PV 75% Push’), photovoltaic power starts to outcompete onshore wind power and the less favourable offshore wind parks.
- For a cost comparison, see the graph in our “Key conclusions”.

###### The PV capacity increases from

## 39 GW to 63 GW

when increasing the PV efficiency from 23% to 35%

#### Power graphs

Increasing the PV efficiency from 23% to 35% increases electricity generation from solar from nearly 40 TWh to 60 TWh. In the long term, it is reducing the electricity generation from nuclear power plants.

The PV capacity increases from 39 GW to 63 GW when increasing its efficiency by 50%.