CPV systems are poised for significant growth thanks to the confluence of several factors: Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) requiring up to 33% renewables by 2020 in key US states, higher efficiency CPV systems, and lower CPV system costs. In the last year alone, over 300 MW of CPV projects have signed contracts with utilities - and are now awaiting regulatory approvals and financing. Thanks to these large projects, CPV technology companies may be approaching the critical mass needed to cost-effectively manufacture their systems - and compete head-to-head with non-concentrating PV.
High-efficiency concentrator cells are now close to 40% efficiency and new breakthroughs in multijunction cell design promise continued improvement. In addition, high-volume manufacturing techniques for these cells have advanced significantly. Other important CPV system components such as sophisticated and reliable robotic tracking mechanisms have become cost effective thanks to their proliferation in the automotive industry.
The combined effect of all these improvements is that CPV may now be the best solar option on a cost per kWh and Return-on-Investment (ROI) basis for projects in high solar resource locations.