Perovskite solar panels have been under intensive R&D, and it seems as if commercial production is right around the corner. Some pilot-scale production lines are already functional, and companies are now ramping up production of perovskite panels, using various technologies.
UK-based Oxford PV, for example, recently announced that it has completed the build-out of its 100 MW manufacturing site in Germany, and it is on track to start full production in 2022. China's Microquanta Semiconductor perovskite panel factory is reportedly also nearing production (which should have started late 2020, but updates have not been available since), and another China-based company, GCL, has raised around $15 million USD to expand its pilot-scale production factory to mass production (100 MW).
Poland-based Saule has launched its production line in May 2021, and its demand has already surpassed its capacity (which is around 40,000 sqm annually).
Other companies are also looking into perovskite solar production, for example Toshiba, which has set a goal to commercialize its newly developed next-generation tandem and perovskite solar cells by 2025. Perhaps the most ambitious plan to date is CubicPV's 10GW $1.1 billion tandem perovskite-silicon panel project in India.
Plans aside, when will perovskite panels actually reach the market? We recently ran a poll on our social media channels (Twitter and LinkedIn), the results of which can be seen in the image above. Most people seem to believe that perovskite solar is indeed coming soon - but it will take 3-5 years before such panels are actually available commercially.
It would appear as if many of the technical challenges have been sorted out and others are still underway. Some companies already claim to have the capability to start production. In our experience, the scale-up from initial production and a true mass production ramp-up with high yields can take longer than expected.
We do expect to see some initial low-scale production starting by the end of 2022, perhaps in niche markets - Saule, for example, is looking to incorporate its panels in all sorts of embedded solutions, rather than general-use panels: from price tags to building facades and space satellites. Some analysts indeed expect perovskites to first hit applications such as IoT and mobile devices, where the requirements may be more suited for the current state of perovskite technology (lower operation life, small area size and high efficiency).
Material technology can take a long time to mature, and we're hopeful that commercial production will indeed emerge in the near future.