In addition to market demand and government incentives, extremely advanced technologies are required to support the steadily decreasing price of power generated by photovoltaic (PV) cells. One of the most crucial technologies is the metallization on the two sides of the wafer to conduct the electrons, that is, electric power, out of the cell. This is mostly done with screen printing, where a conductive paste is forced through the openings of a fabric (called a screen) to establish contact with the wafer.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar panel prices have fallen about 40% since the middle of last year, largely as a result of the improved supply of polysilicon which goes into crystalline-silicon-based panels. When the industry was constrained by limited production of polysilicon, the price reached over $300/kg. Now, the cost has fallen well below $100/kg and supplies are readily available for mass production — driving a continuing decline in panel prices.